Basketball: 11th Indian Ocean Island Games 2023 – Madagascar |02 February 2023
Doubles winners Michel Malbrook and Lennon Shurman will lead Seychelles’ selections at 11th Games
After their outstanding performances last season where they achieved the doubles with their teams, coaches Michel Malbrook and Lennon Shurman have been chosen to guide the men’s and women’s national selections at the 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 scheduled to take place in Madagascar from August 23 to September 3.
Shurman led Beau Vallon to win the national league and the Land Marine Cup ‒ in both competitions surpassing Malbrook’s PLS Hawks in the finals, while the latter steered Bel Air-based B Challenge to the women’s titles in both competitions by overcoming rivals Anse Etoile Stars coached by former teammate Kenneth Domingue.
Despite winning the men’s doubles, Shurman has opted to take charge of the women’s team, while Malbrook who has known success in the female competitions will head the men’s team.
As the women’s selection head coach, Shurman will be assisted by B Challenge veteran player and ex-Seychelles international Simone Malbrook who as player took part in the 8th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG), while the head coach of Baya and the Bel Air Basketball Academy (Baba), Gregoire Scholastique, will assist Michel Malbrook with the men’s selection.
Paul Denis will serve as technical advisor for both selections.
It is to note that Michel Malbrook was the assistant coach of Clifford Joubert in 2011 when the Seychelles men’s selection won their first and only basketball gold medal during the eighth Games on home soil.
Speaking to Sports NATION, coach Malbrook noted that his preparation for the Games will not be a one-man show, but rather be based on a team work approach.
He explained that other than setting up a committee, he has also initiated a coaching staff, gathering various local coaches to help with preparations, targeting specific areas and elements of the game.
Coach Malbrook also noted that he is taking the challenge very seriously and that his target is to achieve the same feat as in 2011, meaning, bringing home the gold medal.
When asked about his decision to take the men’s selection instead of the women’s team, based on his achievements in 2022, coach Malbrook said his decision is purely based on attitude and discipline in terms of the two genders.
He explained that men’s players are more committed and have the will to persevere and achieve results, compared to the women who show less of these qualities.
“Seychelles is not a club, but a country, if you chose to represent it, you have to give it your all at 100 percent,” added coach Malbrook.
“Every new thing is a challenge,” said coach Shurman who explained that his main challenge is to bring the female players to the level that they should be, and ready to play basketball at the IOIG level.
He noted that it is not a secret that the level of Seychelles’ women’s basketball has considerably gone down over the years.
He further explained that since the training began in mid-January, he adopted an orthodox approach whereby all physical condition training involves the ball.
“The game is played with a ball, so it is normal to involve the ball in every drill,” he explained.
Coach Shurman further added that out of the 25 initial selected players, only 18 have responded positively, while there are still some difficulties, mainly in terms of work commitment, as well as single parents who cannot attend training due to child-care issues.
He noted that as from next week, release forms will be issued to work establishments and he is confident that by August, the players will reach the required level and will be ready for the Games.
As a player, Simone Malbrook has taken part in eight IOIG, starting in 1990 in Madagascar and her last involvement was in 2019 in the 10th Games in Mauritius.
Speaking to Sports NATION, she described the calling as a new challenge, explaining that she is ready to push herself further as she is used to coaching at club level.
Malbrook added that she is taking the new challenge in a very positive angle, and hopes that she can help to bring the much-awaited change in local women’s basketball.
Basketball has been on the list of IOIG disciplines since 1979.
Madagascar, absent from the Games in 1979, made an outstanding entry into the discipline in 1985 by achieving the double and has since, never missed the opportunity to place at least one of its two teams on the podium, while Seychelles won its first gold medal in 2011 at the 8th Games on home soil.
Mauritius is still to get its first gold medal in both categories.
After 1990 and 2007, Madagascar will once again organise the IOIG from August 23 to September 3, with four cities chosen to host the 23 disciplines as agreed by the competing countries ‒ Madagascar, Mayotte, the Comoros, Reunion, Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles.
The 23 sports disciplines will be contested in the capital Antananarivo, and in the cities of Majunga, Sainte-Marie and Fort-Dauphin. The capital will host athletics, basketball, judo, weightlifting, football, handball, boxing, kickboxing, badminton, wrestling, archery, pétanque, tennis, cycling and rugby. The city of Majunga will take care of beach volleyball, beach soccer, swimming, volleyball, taekwondo and karate. Sainte-Marie will host the sailing competitions and Fort-Dauphin the surfing events.
The following are the initial men’s and women’s pre-selections
Men: Taino Ah-Kong, Sebastien Thomas, Anil Charlette, Elijah Laporte (Mont Fleuri Dawgz), Jean-Philip Esparon, Ed Talma, Darius Adam, Steven Hoareau, Jean-Marc Rebuck (PLS Hawks), Allen Baron, Luciano Roseline (Baya), Solomon Alao, Juan Collie, Ahmadou Sylla, Damien Chang-Time, Stan Jean (Premium Cobras), Arnaud Arissol, Ervin Agathine, Steven Servina (Drifters), Kris Andre, Steven Andre, Timmy Adam, Aurelien Meme, Gerald Bristol, Stephen Malbrook (Beau Vallon Heat), Brandon Belmont, Nigel Cafrine, Alf Aglae (Anse Etoile), Eddy Biong, Eddy Servina (Cascade Bullets), Perry Pointe, Selwyn Volcere, (Praslin Boys), Franchesco Boniface, Dyandro Boniface (AB Boys), Khris Bouchereau (Solgaleo Bosco, Spain), Abdel Sylla (Tours, France).
Women: Jurysanne Bamboche, Bernadette Songoire, Nisha Cafrine, Veena Cadeau, Veena Marie, Lucia Souffe (Anse Etoile Stars), Jenifer Bonne, Samia Asba, Irene Bau, Shanice Joubert, Guyra Boniface (B Challenge), Beguitta Fontaine, Tina Agathine, Jenifer Lebon, Shanice Dubel, Zerah Bonte, Sherifah Agathine, Julietta Agathine, Nathalie Esther (Hot Shots), Serah Rose, Jade Choisy, Michelle Ah-Kong, Solange François and Rona Loze (Mont Fleuri).