Coach goes through the hoops

A CHANCE to pick the brains of Coffs Harbour’s best basketball coaches is the reason Pascale Wakanumune has made her way here from New Caledonia.

Having recently hung up her sneakers, Wakanumune has taken on the role of coaching New Caledonia’s under-15 girls’ team.

Coming to Coffs Harbour is all part of the plan of making the transition from player to coach.

“I know how to do it but I don’t know how to teach it,” Wakanumune said.

Last Sunday she spent the afternoon taking part in all of the junior representative teams’ practises, working alongside the local coaches.

Concentrating on basic skill lessons was an important step for the island visitor.

“The players in New Caledonia are very athletic but not very skilful,” she said.

“Hopefully me coming here will help the players at home learn the skills correctly.”

Among the eye-openers for Wakanumune were the facilities that Coffs Harbour’s basketballers get to enjoy at Sportz Central.

First was the fact that the centre has more than one court, as well as the timber flooring, which is a luxury few get to enjoy in New Caledonia.

There might be as many as 20 indoor courts in her home country but Wakanumune said only one of them had a timber floor.

“There were also some clever things there, like the curtains between the courts and the ceiling fans.

“We have a similar problem with the heat back home but we have no fans.”

With New Caledonia hosting the Pacific Games this year, new facilities are being built for several sports, and basketball will be one of those to benefit.

Wakanumune is heading home this afternoon but she will be returning armed with plenty of coaching DVDs and resources to show to her impressionable young players.

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