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  • Writer's pictureGriffles Baller

Life as a Basketball Coach II

Updated: Jan 16

For the Part II of our Alumni Feature today, we will be talking to our Raffles Basketball Alumni who have continued on with this passion in basketball and have carved out their career in coaching basketball to the younger generation of ballers. We will hear from them how they stepped out onto the hardcourts in a different role and how being a basketball coach is really enriching and satisfying.

For the second interview, we will be speaking with our Raffles Baller, Dominic from the graduating batch of RJC 2011.

Griffles: Hi Dom, thanks for taking time out to chat with us and to share with us your personal journey from being a basketball player to turning into a full time coach. To start things off, let's go back to the very beginning....

When did you start playing basketball?

Dom: I started playing basketball when I was primary 1, when Wei Xuan (also a Raffles Baller) introduced me to it. We were both in track and field and it was during a water break when he told me to follow him and shoot around at the basketball court beside the field. I fell in love with the game ever since.

G: Wow... since primary 1. That is a long time now. Talk about first love :)

How was your experience playing for Raffles Basketball? (You joined RI via DSA after 4 years playing for Catholic High)

Dom: It was great! If there was a team that was truly selfless, it was this team. We moved the ball really well, always giving the extra passes and we had really good chemistry. Everybody knew their role and we were a great team.

Coaching during a men's game

Ahh, one of the trademarks of the Raffles Basketball Teams... So, what led to you taking up coaching?

Dom: Honestly, it started out as me needing extra allowance during university, and I wanted to do something I love while earning some cash. I started in my freshman year in university and I have been at it ever since. After that, I always wanted to do something that I loved and could make a living from.

Passion triumphs everything else for me.

G: Ahhhh... That is great to hear! Having passion in your work really makes it all the more enjoyable and worthwhile. You are truly blessed to be in such a position.

What challenges did you have to overcome to become a coach?

Dom: The major challenge would be the stigma of being a coach, especially in Singapore. I have had friends and relatives asking me why I went into coaching when I have a university degree in business management as coaching to them, was “lower” in status. It’s quite sad really but I have learnt to ignore the noises and continue doing what I love.

During their overseas training trip with Coach Low Tong :)

What are some of the joys and difficulties that you faced so far as a coach?

Dom: I love the idea of seeing my athletes grow and understand basketball as a whole. Most players just want to be able to dunk, or shoot 3s and basically anything else that is flashy.

But most fail to see the bigger picture and understand the concept behind a certain action, or a play and just go through the motion. But behind every cut or action there is a reasoning behind it.

I would say the most difficult thing I have faced is dealing with players who are not selfless. Some players are unable to grasp the concept that team play triumphs individual accolades. Scoring 40 points a game and getting a triple double but not winning the game is still a loss.

At our old training courts (without the shelter!)

G: That is so true. Guess that is why we need coaches like you to make that difference in these young lives and educate them about the true spirit of the game.

Would you have any advice for our current Raffles Ballers?

Dom: Give everything you have, live in the moment and enjoy your youth while you’re at it.

Lastly, what baby steps do you think our current players can take if they might be interested to coach in future?

Dom: Start looking for coaching opportunities right away! Don’t hesitate. You can always start with the youngest of kids, and don’t think that young kids are easy. It can be very physical taxing and mentally exhausting.

G: Thanks once again for spending time with us and hope to see you all at Gryphon Cup when the Covid situation improves!!

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