Namibian coach a real game changer

Proper development structure is essential for taking basketball to greater heights.

26 November 2018 | Sports

Manuel Carballo; Physical Conditioning Coach: I want to install values and a sense of patriotism amongst players representing Namibia.”

Otis Finck - Manuel “Lito” Carballo returned from Senegal where he was a physical conditioning coach for the country’s women world cup basketball team.

He was also on the coaching staff of the Namibian hockey team that competed at the 5th Indoor hockey world cup earlier this year in Berlin, Germany, from 7-11 February as a mental and conditioning coach.

Lito subsequently received international coaching offers and is currently engaged in negotiations.

Attending and being part of two world cups for two different sport codes in one year is quite an extra ordinary experience, says Lito.

“Seeing the two teams celebrating their wins was a very unique experience and a God given blessing to witness this happening on two different occasions in one year.”

The Senegalese basketball team participated at the Wold Cup in Tananarive, Spain, in August and finished 12th. They also became the first African country to win a game at the tournament and defeated Latvia in a closely contested group D game 70-69.

For the first time in the competition's history, two African nations also achieved a milestone by moving out of the Group Phase.

Nigeria finished eighth and Senegal returned home with an encouraging 12th place out of 16 competitors.

The Namibian indoor hockey women’s team also managed to win their first game at World Cup stage for the country and was ranked 9th on the final standings.

The side finished with 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. Kiana Cormack (16), who scored 9 goals, was also the joint top scorer of the tournament.

The qualified FIBA coach’s instructor with a diploma in coaching sports from Canada as well as a diploma in sport psychology however, says his heart will forever remain in Namibia.

According to Lito the setup he experienced in Senegal was very professional.

“I was interviewed in Abidjan while attending a FIBA coach’s conference. They recognised my contribution to the Namibian women’s senior Hockey World Cup team in early 2018.”

He was part of the complete process to select and prepare the Senegalese team.

“The selection process was transparent and all-inclusive with decisions being taken in the best interest of the country.”

After his appointment he worked closely with head coach Cheik Sarr and two other assistant coaches.

“I learned a lot at that level of coaching and with regard to the manner in which structures are set up and implemented. It is also noteworthy that many corporate companies supported the team and that the government is heavily involved in the financial aspects pertaining to the team.”

He is now planning to implement what he learned into the Namibian basketball system and setup.

“I want to strengthen the existing basketball structures in the country. The first step in doing so is to prepare a U/16 team for the FIBA African qualifiers in Botswana scheduled for December. I am also looking forward to pass on the ability to compete and be competitive at international level to the team members. In addition to that I want to install values and a sense of patriotism amongst players representing Namibia.”

Lito adds that the opportunity to compete at a basketball World Cup which is a huge stage was a dream come true for him and he would like to see a Namibian team participating at this level in the foreseeable future.

“Namibia however has a very long way to go in order to achieve this. The development of preparing and having a good team takes 8-10 years. We have the talent at our disposal. Proper structures for national teams from U12 level to senior level for woman and men should be implemented with adequate support in place.”

Namibia identified 20 players at the Namibian National Youth Games in May. This squad will be trimmed to 12 players which will represent the country in Botswana at the Region 5 Youth Games.

Lito is also a member of the Whales Walvis Bay basketball club established in the harbour town during the early 90’s and for which he played as an all rounder “Guard forward”.

He was born in Walvis Bay and started his playing career on the salty streets of Narraville.

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