I’m trying to change my mindset on basketball in Kenya. I really am! I’m trying to be more positive, look at the silver lining, and to be honest when I see Railways undergoing renovations after many started to doubt the sincerity of Be Own’s commitment to revamp Kenya’s most active basketball courts, I am truly encouraged. Change is coming.
But if there’s one thing that gets me, and HAS to change somehow, it’s this business of playing in the dark. It can’t just be in Kenya can it? I mean the more I think about it, the more I can kind of understand it can’t be helped in some circumstances but there must be a solution to this.
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about here’s the deal. Most basketball players who have jobs can only get off at 5:00pm. By the time they’ve braved Nairobi traffic, changed, and made their way to the court it’s 6:00pm. At that point, instead of working on 5 man drills and game work, a lot of Coaches will begin to do skills development drills: Shooting, dribbling, transition drills etc. Full court, 5-man drills begin at 6:45pm when the sun has already disappeared and the only light we have is the reflection of sun rays on the clouds as the moon appears. So here we are trying to work on plays, after nightfall. The sun is gone. You can’t see the ball, friends. You can’t even see your teammates…. and the coach is asking his players, “why are there so many turnovers?” I remember there is one Coach who even told me that your accuracy will improve after shooting in the dark.
But Coach, are we bats that we will find the ball, the rim, and our teammates through echolocation? Or perhaps you believe that over time our eyes will adjust like cats and through rapid evolution we will develop night vision capabilities? I just need to know the rationale behind this. It’s frustrating and teams cannot get better by playing in the dark so all I’m trying to say is can we please find a solution?