KAPI NATTO CALLS FOR COOPERATION
By Taromane Martin
Wife of prominent Papua New Guinea businessman Mr John Kapi Natto has called on the local basketball community in Honiara to put their differences aside and work together in promoting the sport.
Mrs Vonne Kapi Natto is currently in the country to kick start talks on the promised semi-professional basketball league.
Kapi Natto back in October promised to kick start the league after witnessing the country’s national basketball team’s competing at the Melanesian Basketball Cup held in PNG.
She said they were convinced and impressed with the performance of the teams despite using the run down Multipurpose Hall for training and lack of exposure playing overseas.
“This is the first start for the men’s league. After when we see things are good for the men’s we’ll also involve the women’s into a professional league also,” she said yesterday.
“My only appeal is for everyone to put aside whatever differences they have and lets all come together as a country and people to promote and develop basketball here.
“Being a Solomon Islander I felt it is high time now we step in and support what is good for our country, knowing very well there are a lot of potential and gifted players in the country.
“Witnessing the country’s national men and women basketball team during the Melanesian Basketball Cup had convinced me and John of the potential talents here in the country because our people are very gifted in a lot of thing,” Kapi Natto adds.
She said starting the league will be tough but believes with everyone’s cooperation it will be successful and see basketball spreading out to the provinces.
“I know it will be tough. We are not starting an amateur’s competition because we believe taking Solomon Islands into a small professional basketball league will make a lot of difference in a year time.
“So we know that with the drive and a good committee supporting this league it can be successful and hopefully business houses in the country can also come on board and support us.
“But for the first year John and I will fund that as our first step in our support so as to give confidence to the teams that we are serious and here to support basketball in the country,” Vonnie adds.
She promises everything regarding the semi-professional basketball league will be done more professionally and calls on teams to attend today’s meeting.
“I’m not sure how many teams will be interested but I’m sure many teams will be interested to join the league.
“We will do everything more in a professional way, there will be a lot more documentation, expression of interests, there will be requirements for you to complete before you can be qualified to be part of that.
“With that too we want to see team’s managements too to work with whatever committee we put in place. We must work together. There is no way that we can run things successfully without them.
“We need their support the management of every club and the committee that will run the league and I believe with that it can be a great step and motivation for the younger generation to be more interested in basketball too.
“With that it will be a great help for our nation in developing basketball. Not only is that but our future plan to get touch with little kids around the provinces.
“It is a big, big plan but I believe if we can all work together, we promote that we can also invite provincial teams to come and compete.
“Only thing I want is for everybody to come and put our heads together, put a side whatever differences they had in the past and attend the meeting today because John and I have a good message for them and share what we felt,” she said.