Somalia Basketball Bounces Back

Posted July 14th, 2013 at 12:48 pm (UTC-4)
2 comments

I grew up playing basketball with my brothers on a cement court my father built in our backyard. It was a safe environment and we had lots of fun playing one of the world’s most popular sports.

In Somalia, where there has been decades of war, basketball is being used as a peace-building tool in an area of the capital, Mogadishu, that previously was off-limits to the sport.

Somali boys and girls are getting a chance to learn the game through daily clinics.

Check out this video report I did for the Voice of America’s Africa 54 television program.

Somali basketball coach Hassan Ahmed Gelleh says, “We’ve come through very difficult times. Al Shabaab wanted people to participate in Jihad rather than play or even wear shorts. We still managed to hold some competitions, but girls weren’t even allowed to come to the court. We’ve had a lot of problems, but there’s a huge change now. Both men and women can come and play. Somalia used to be one of the leading teams in Africa.”

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

2 Responses to “Somalia Basketball Bounces Back”

  1. Joshua Zenit says:

    Good to know. It’s always great to make that change.

  2. Sonny Young says:

    Thank you, Sir Joshua, for your comment.

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

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