Dubai - UAE: Dubai Sports Council has launched a ‘Basketball Development Program’ for Dubai clubs, with the aim of developing the skills of Emirati coaches and players.
The initiative has been launched under the framework of Decision No 4 2020 of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, which makes it mandatory for all government clubs of Dubai to appoint an Emirati assistant coach for all first teams, in all team sports.
The development program is being held in cooperation with Lebanese basketball legend Fadi El Khatib, who will give lectures, conduct workshops, and supervise the training of players and coaches at Dubai clubs, and at Champs Ahead Basketball Academy, throughout the season.
The ‘Basketball Development Program’ will involve workshops and practical training sessions, and participating Emirati coaches will be able to earn advanced training badges (Pro Licence) through the program, which will open further doors for them.
The program seeks to enable Emirati coaches to work at different clubs and sports companies, and gain confidence as well as experience on the job. It also seeks to give them an opportunity to enhance their abilities and develop their skills; and to support and encourage Emirati coaches, and contribute to the refinement and development of their technical abilities.
This program is a continuation of initiatives launched by Dubai Sports Council over the years to support, develop and empower Emirati coaches, a phase which began years ago with the decision to appoint Emiratis as assistant coaches in the first football team at all Dubai football clubs and companies, in addition to appointing Emirati coaches to lead all reserve teams at Dubai clubs.
Empowering Emirati coaches and developing young Emirati talents has been one of the Council’s primary focus since its inception, and it has launched a number of programs and initiatives over the years to meet those goals, and has achieved considerable success through optimal investment of resources.
The Council has conducted regular workshops for Emirati coaches and players over the years, inviting experts from around the globe to share their knowledge with local coaches, and giving them opportunities to develop their professional skills and obtain advanced training certificates (Pro Licence), which qualifies them to train first teams.
Nicknamed the “Lebanese Tiger” for his aggression and scoring prowess, El Khatib took part in three consecutive FIBA World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010), where Lebanon defeated the likes of Venezuela and France in 2006. He also played a stellar role as Lebanon finished runners-up at three FIBA Asia Championship finals (2001, 2005, 2007).
El Khatib also played a big part in Club Sagesse Beirut’s success during the late 1990s and early 2000s, helping the club win seven Lebanese Basketball Cups, two Arab Club titles, and three FIBA Asia Champions Cup crowns. The wingman also spent a couple of seasons in China, playing for Foshan Long Lions (2015-2016) and Fujian Sturgeons (2016-2017).
After the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, where El Khatib finished among the top 10 scorers despite Lebanon losing all their games, he was invited by Michael Jordan’s personal trainer, Tim Grover, to train with the legend, who was quite impressed with the Lebanese. El Khatib also tried out for the Sacramento Kings as well as the Los Angeles Clippers in 2003.