Secretary General of Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA), Chey That Woon insists that they are working on attracting more non-Chinese players to get actively engaged in the sport.
According to Chey as stated in Berita Harian, there are over 550, 000 non-Chinese players who take part in the basketball game, but only at an amateur level.
He added that although these players are involved in championships such as ‘’3 on 3’’, the numbers decrease whenever there is an open tournament, district or national level.
Chey also commented on the lack of exposure when it comes to the sport during school level, as local education now focuses more on football and badminton.
“These days you rarely see a basketball court among the non-Chinese areas, especially in the rural ones. So the kids have the tendency to be attracted more to other sports, such as football, in those areas.”
In order to further bring up the talent of non-Chinese players, MABA has come up with a long term plan, involving the annual MABA Championship.
16 players will be selected from the Championship and will go through a building program twice a week under the guidance of national basketball coach. They will train with national youth players and MABA is even planning to send them to participate in tournaments in Vietnam, Brunei and Cambodia.
Meanwhile, national basketball head coach, Paul Advincula, has stated that the building program for non-Chinese men players has already begun last April with a series of training sessions held at the MABA Stadium, Jalan Hang Jebat.
As for now, there are only two non-Chinese players – Nur Izzati Yaakob and R. Kalaimathi – who are part of the women’s basketball team, in which they won the gold medal at the recent Singapore SEA Games.