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tsm612
09-26-2010, 10:14 AM
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/moresports/local-players-get-an-assist-from-ex-nba-all-star/398174



Local Players Get an Assist From Ex-NBA All-Star

by Sandy Pramuji

Despite the popularity of the National Basketball Association in the country, Indonesia’s domestic basketball league has struggled to attract significant attention from local fans, having failed to draw them to the games in recent seasons.

According to the Indonesian Basketball Association (Perbasi), the average attendance at National Basketball League games last season was 250.

With stadiums holding a seating capacity of 1,500, the crowd turnout fell way short of the league’s expectations.

As the NBL enters a new season, the Development Basketball League, the NBL’s organizing arm, said there was a lot of work that needed to be done to boost the professional tournament’s popularity.

Emphasizing the need to improve the quality of games to meet that goal, the DBL held a three-day camp last week in coordination with the NBA.

Former NBA All-Star Detlef Schrempf facilitated activities at the camp, which was organized for the NBL’s younger players.

“We’re not expecting any miracles that in just three days our players will suddenly become world class,” NBL commissioner Azrul Ananda said.

“However, by practicing with a player of Detlef’s caliber, who has played at the top level of his sport, we expect the players to be more motivated to raise their games. In the end, that will make the NBL better.”

The camp, held at C-Tra Arena in Bandung, was attended by 40 players from 10 NBL teams.

Schrempf was assisted by Jama Mahlalela, the basketball operations director of NBA Asia, and Dan Weiss, director for NBA Japan’s business development and basketball program.

It was the second time the DBL invited an NBA star to conduct the camp.

In 2008, the Indiana Pacers’ Danny Granger, a one-time All-Star and member of the USA team that won the gold medal in the world championship in Turkey earlier this month, held a clinic for high-school students playing in the Deteksi Basketball League in Surabaya.

To convince fans to attend the NBL games, Schrempf said it all boiled down to having good players.

“You need to have a good product. Basketball has to be entertaining, and the game has to be good,” Schrempf told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday.

“People want to watch exciting games, and it’s the players who can make the games more exciting to watch.”

Schrempf, one of the game’s best long-distance shooters, played for four teams in the NBA in a career that spanned 16 seasons.

His most notable stint was with the Seattle Supersonics, where he played for six years and reached the NBA finals in 1996.

Born in Germany but now an American citizen, Schrempf was a two-time Olympian, playing for West Germany in the 1984 Games and unified Germany in 1992. He said good results in international tournaments were also important.

“Your players have to be successful in international competitions, in the Asian Games for example, so people would want to watch them play,” he said.

The willingness of the NBL players to learn from the three-time NBA All-Star was apparent during camp, as everyone took Schrempf’s advice to heart.

“We try to create a habit and show them the proper way [to play],” Schrempf said. “I like to keep saying every day that it takes a long time to become a really good shooter.

“You have to do the same thing over and over and over again, and it might be boring. But practicing how to do it and how to do it right is like waking up in the morning and drinking coffee. It must be a part of your life in order for you to get better.”

NBL team officials who attended the camp praised the participants’ attitude.

“We can’t tell how much the players will improve out of this experience, but I loved seeing how determined they were to learn and become better players,” said Koko Heru, the Pelita Jaya assistant coach who also assisted Schrempf during the event.

“If they continue to practice as hard as this when they return to their respective clubs, then I think Indonesian basketball has a good future.”

Dimas Aryo Dewanto, chosen as the camp’s best player, said his fellow players were all motivated to raise their games and promised to take Indonesian basketball to a higher level.

“Detlef played in the best league in the world, so he clearly knows what he’s saying. All we had to do was listen,” the 24-year-old Pelita Jaya guard said.

“We wanted to show him our best so he could help us to go beyond our limits. We’ll work hard to improve ourselves, so in the end it’s the national basketball scene that will benefit.”

Kstat
09-26-2010, 10:57 AM
His point about the national team is the biggest one. You grow your domestic league star attractions through national and international competitions. That was even true of the NBA, going back 50+ years.

Day-V
09-26-2010, 12:10 PM
"Has there ever been a player better than Detlef Schrempf?"