On Saturday, June 28, 2014, iHoops Basketball Academy conducted their first-ever clinic at Aga Khan School and running the opening day clinic were proprietors Jimmy Enabu and Ben Komakech joined by Ivan Enabu, Albert Achiko and Kelly Martin.

Jimmy and Koma saw the feeder program as a crucial training and up-bringing ground for the kids in all aspects of life in what is a year-round sport for many.

iHoops has grown in both quantity and quality over the years with several coaches joining and among them is City Oilers guard Tony Drileba.

During an interview with Deep End Sports, Drileba who also doubles as the head coach of women’s side Angels Basketball Club extensively talked about his short coaching career.

“I have a passion for not coaching but teaching basketball,” he said. “A lot of the time we see young players coming up wanting to shoot like Curry, dunk like LeBron, step back like Harden and all of them don’t see the importance of basic fundamental basketball and when you give them a platform to play international competitions, they don’t have the fundamental know-how of playing some of the top countries in Africa or the world because the challenge is from the grassroots.

“We don’t have the people to teach basketball so I have the passion to teach basketball so that we have the next generation of players that are fundamentally sound in the sport.”

On how he balances coaching Angels and playing for City Oilers, the five-time National Basketball League champion said: “Fortunately, the practice days are different. I have training with City Oilers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Angels practice is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So I have time to work with both.

“When it comes to game days – when both are playing, it’s usually tricky because of game day routines but there’s an assistant coach at Angels so I do as much as I can and if I have a game after, I take leave before the (Angels) game ends and the assistant takes over.”

On the challenges of coaching a women’s team, Drileba said: “Women can be difficult (to coach) and everyone knows this. Mood swings, some of the ladies I coach are older than I am and sometimes they look at you as a child but fortunately for me, with Angels we have instilled a very solid culture.

“We leave whatever moods outside the four lines of the court (because) if you step on the court and you’re acting funny, we send you home.

“I am fortunate enough to be working with this group of ladies that understand what we stand for and what we want to achieve, so they make it a whole lot easier for me.”

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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