Marshall Islands women make basketball history

The first group of Marshallese female basketball coaches received their level-one FIBA Oceania Coaching certificates in a humble ceremony Tuesday November 20, 2012 in Majuro.

On hand to honor the historic event was Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee Secretary General Terry Sasser who praised the trainees for their active participation in the course and Marshall Islands Basketball Federation for its push to achieve gender equality in their sport.

“We are witnessing a great transition of voice with more women involved in the Marshall Islands Basketball Federation,” said Sasser. With the Olympic community entering a new quadrennial funding stream, Sasser said he is “excited and anxious” to see the Marshall Islands women’s development movement in sport move forward.

Coaching clinic participant Antoinette Langmos, who has represented the Marshall Islands at the last two regional basketball tournaments and was an assistant coach at her Los Angeles-area high school after graduation, thanked FIBA coach trainer Paul Goriss of the Australian Institute of Sport and MIBF for making the opportunity available to her and her fellow female coach trainees.

“It's often hard for women in our culture to break through barriers,” she said. “But our society needs to recognize that we women have more to offer than what is perceived of our abilities. I believe given more equality between men and women we as a country can achieve much more.”

Elmer ‘Marmar’ Lejjena, speaking on behalf of MIBF, recognized the young women for taking the course to improve their basketball skill levels. MIBF Basketball Development Officer Mouj Lewi emceed the brief ceremony that followed immediately on the completion of the fourth day of training under Coach Goriss. The clinic featured four-hour sessions daily that combined classroom study and on-court practical experience.

Sasser, Goriss and Lejjena provided the Certificates of Completion to the women participants. Receiving their certificates on Tuesday were: Pat Anjain, Neiar Kabua, Antoinette Langmos, Yone Wase, Eleni Duanocoko, Candice Guavis and Nebwin deBrum (the latter two both national team basketball players — Candice in 2000 and 2002, winning bronze and silver, respectively in Micronesian basketball competition; Nebwin in September at the Micronesian Basketball Tournament in Guam).

The training was organized by the Marshall Islands Basketball Federation in partnership with the College of the Marshall Islands, Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee, FIBA Oceania and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In the photo: National team player Candice Guavis receives her Certificate of Completion from MIBF representative Elmer 'Marmar' Lejjena as NOC Secretary General Terry Sasser (blue shirt) and Coach Paul Goriss look on. Photo: Suzanne Chutaro.



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