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Basketball in RMI

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The hottest game in town

A high-octave game at SGT Solomon Sam Basketball Court between Marshall Islands Middle School and a team from Pohnpei. Photo: Hilary Hosia of the Marshall Islands Journal

A high-octave game at SGT Solomon Sam Basketball Court between Marshall Islands Middle School and a team from Pohnpei. Photo: Hilary Hosia of the Marshall Islands Journal

Basketball is THE sport in the Marshall Islands. Sure, volleyball is popular, but you can’t get a more excited crowd than the one that’s at the SGT Solomon Sam Basketball Court watching a Ralik-Ratak Shoutout game. Turn a corner in Majuro and it’s likely you can see a hoop somewhere … and if you can see a hoop, chances are there’s a few folk throwing a ball at it.

The group that does most of the organization of basketball leagues is the Marshall Islands Basketball Federation, which was established in September 1999. The MIBF was organized, according to its web page, to promote, develop and sponsor basketball-related activities in the Marshall Islands, including training programs, clinics, and competitions.

For a hint of how keen the players and fans are, check out the highlights in a 2014 Shootout Championship game between Lae and Majuro Championship. The clip was taken by MIBF Treasurer Melu. (INSIGHT: The ref is Giff Johnson, editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, and a forever friend of the game.)

MIBF’s 2016-2018 Board of Directors

President Sherwood Tibon; Senior Vice President Joseph Bigler; Vice President for Women In Development Lucyann Peter; Treasurer Melu Wase; Secretary General Deborah K. Shoniber; and National Basketball Development Officer Rickiano Antibas. Members At Large are Robert Pinho and Alber Alik.

TIP: If you’re lucky enough to be traveling to the outer islands of the Marshall Islands and you’d like to give a gift to the local school, you can’t go wrong with a basketball or two.

 

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