October 2016 At PJB

Basketball

Deaf Basketball (SOURD Basket)

We are constantly looking for ways to increase the promotion of basketball within Goma and the DRC. In our work with physically handicapped players, we already have a wheelchair basketball team, but in August we reached out to a new community, the deaf and the mute. Since August we have been training a team of deaf and mute players in basketball skills.

The idea for the team came from a 16 year old PJB Elite Girls player named Amina Naseremba. Amina is fluent in sign languages and was excited to begin a program with this new community of youth. All of the players for the team come from a local school for the deaf called EFATA. Coach Amina, even though she is hearing and speaking enabled, has also attended EFATA for the past 4 years. Amina comments on her new program, "(Coaching basketball to deaf-mute players) is not easy because it is a very aggressive sport. Coaches must be attentive and sign clearly or else there can be a lot of disputes."

So far the program has gone well. There have been some obstacles in communication and integration while starting the program, but we at PJB are confident that we can fully incorporate the deaf-mute team into the family. This will also allow for a better understanding and camaraderie amongst our players and all communities of Goma.

Education

Life Skills Courses

The PJB Life-Skills program began this month. The first division players, encadreurs, and coaches participate in the program once a week. The first round of the life-skills course is focused on developing a general knowledge of the key themes of the curriculum: personal development, communication, collaboration, professional development, and problem solving and critical thinking. At the end of the 12 lessons, PJB will evaluate the first course and plan to expand the course to other categories and teams.

The units covered so far in October are: the importance of personal values, writing SMART goals, and personal health.

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Baby-Basket Story Time

PJB began collaborating with the Maison des Jeunes library this month to host story-time for the Baby Basket team directly after their Wednesday practice. Reading aloud promotes familiarity with books, inspires curiosity, and cultivates a love of learning early in childhood. The stories will also reinforce the teaching of PJB values - discipline, team spirit, hard work, and respect.

Special Events

Sal's Shoes Distribution

As posted earlier this month, we were extremely happy to receive our first shipment from our new partners at Sal's Shoes. Thanks to a joint effort, along with Falcon Coffees, we were able to provide school shoes, toys, jerseys, and basketball shoes to members of PJB and our partners. We want to again thank both Sal's Shoes and Falcon Coffee for their generosity.

Player of the Month

Lajoie Mubulanyi

Team: Elite Men

Location: Maison Des Jeunes

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"Lajoie is quietly the most enthusiastic participant in PJB right now. He does not always stick out, or have the loudest opinion, but he is steady in his participation and effort. He currently participating in English classes, the life skills course and is always at practice on time. Lajoie has the unique ability to remember to do things after only being told once, and does so with effort and pleasure. His curiosity, team spirit, work ethic, and respect define him as a leader who truly leads by example." - PJB coach

Thank You Sal's Shoes!

It is an exciting time for PJB as we received our first shipment from a new partner, Sal's Shoes. We were able to award school shoes to our hard working and disciplined youth players, as well as some new tennis shoes for training to our Baby Basket teams. Across the three main courts of PJB, we held celebrations this past week (October 3-7) to recognize each deserving player. 

September 2016 at PJB

Basketball

NBA Basketball Without Borders Selection

PJB player Patrick Mwamba was honored with yet another award for his efforts at the 2016 FIBA U18 African Cup. Patrick was selected as a top player from Africa to join the NBA's Basketball Without Borders camp in Luanda, Angola between August 31 and September 3. Not only was Patrick recognized for his talents by being selected, but he was also selected as the camp's male MVP, solidifying his place as one of Africa's most up and coming young talents.

Girls Victorious in Kigali Friendlies

Between September 23rd and 25th a select team of elite female players at PJB traveled to Kigali to play two matches against women's senior teams in Rwanda. In the first match UBUMWE BBC from Kigali played close with PJB in a fast paced game at the national stadium of Rwanda, Amahoro Stadium. By opening up the floor, UBUMWE was able to capitalize on fast break points to keep the game close, but PJB still found a way to win 56-55.

In the second game, PJB adjusted and crashed the offensive boards hard and stopped UBUMWE's fast break attack. PJB then dominated the rest of the match, winning 68-55, finishing out their weekend sweep.

Special Events

Peace Day 2016

Click to read Coach Lebon Rose's speech for Peace during Peace Day 2016

September 21, 2016 is the International Day of Peace, and Promo Jeune Basket partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute to host an event in the city of Goma, DRC. The event celebrated the promotion and presence of peace within our communities. Please watch the video recap if you haven't already.

            The event began with a march into Maison Des Jeunes under the Roots & Shoots peace dove. This was an exciting time to march amongst the members of the immediate community and represent peace.

            For games and activities, the youth participated in a competition of the human knot, using communication and teamwork to overcome the obstacles of the game. Then the coaches of PJB distributed pens and paper to all the participants to write a small message of peace and create a small origami peace dove out of the message. Each participant was able to leave with their pen and dove as a symbol of their continued promotion of peace.

            Coach Lebon Rose then gave a speech about peace and how we at PJB can live in and manifest peace within our communities. Along with his speech, PJB presented a peace pole to be planted on the grounds of the court. This peace pole will remain as a symbol that we at PJB wish to preserve peace throughout the world.

            The festivities ended with a short message from out partners at the Jane Goodall Institute reminding everyone involved that peace must be fostered amongst all peoples, but also with our surrounding environments as well.

 

 

 

 

Peace Day Celebration at Kituku Court

On Saturday, September 24th PJB inaugurated a peace pole at the Kituku court. Kituku is situated about 30 minutes away from PJB's headquarters so some of the administration decided to host a peace celebration at Kituku as well. The celebration started with a couple basketball matches between the baby basket players and debutant players. We then took a break to plant the peace pole and discuss peace with the players. Coach Lebon repeated his speech to inspire the players to remember and think about peace in their daily lives. Each player planted a handful of dirt and stones to secure the pole in the ground showing their participation in the promotion of peace.

After the pole was planted each member of the Kituku PJB family received a pair of TOMS shoes which was graciously donated from our partners at Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI). These shoes were distributed for the hard work and effort that each individual within the program has exhibited over the summer and for living out the PJB values. After everyone received their shoes, the music started and the games began, finishing with the final match between the elite players of the court.

Player of the Month

Agnes Bijila

Team: Baby Basket

Location: Kituku

Qualities listed of Agnes by her coaches: 

  • Discipline
  • Team Spirit
  • She has respect for all whether old or young
  • She has the courage to work hard in training and at school
  • She is prompt to practice
  • She listens to what everyone has to say
  • She loves being with her friends and working together with her teammates and classmates
  • She is an example and model at every practice, every day in school, at home and when hanging out with friends

Agnes also has this to say for her selection as Player of the Month:

"Thank you so much to my coaches, Roland and Lebon, because you have taught me a lot. God bless you and give you a long life. Thank you so much!

PJB Peace Day 2016

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. With celebrations worldwide, PJB and 385 of our members held a celebration of peace at our main court in Maison Des Jeunes. The celebration included a march along with our partners from the Jane Goodall Institute, games, speeches, making peace doves, and planting a Peace Pole. Through education and basketball we promote peace and development within the community and country on a daily basis. Today was our day to celebrate our successes and reflect on challenges in ensuring peace within our community, country, and world.

Please enjoy the video of our Peace Day event!

August 2016 at PJB

Basketball

 Photo of Patrick Mwamba with his trophy as the best shooter in the tournament.

Photo of Patrick Mwamba with his trophy as the best shooter in the tournament.

 

U18 DRC National Team

On August 2nd, the U18 men's national team returned to Goma after finishing in 6th place at the FIBA U18 African Championships in Kigali, Rwanda. Assistant Coach Kipere Mulolwa and the rest of the team were warmly welcomed home by the community with great pride and admiration. PJB player Patrick Mwamba also brought home some hardware with the Top Shooter Award for the tournament.

Provencial Tournaments

The North Kivu provincial tournament was held in Goma this year at the newly refurbished cercle sportif. (Click Here for footage from the inauguration of the new court) All four PJB teams who compete in the 1st division qualified for these provincial finals. Both the Elite mens and women's teams qualified as the top seed in the tournament, and the Leopard women's and mens qualified as the second and third seeds respectively.

The PJB Elite women's team was crowned champion for the fourth year in a row beating the Leopard women's team in the finals. This tournament has been dominated by the play of the PJB women for the past couple years, and we plan to continue our dominance.

This year was the fourth consecutive year to have a PJB representative in the men's provincial finals. The two-time champion PJB Elite lost in the semi-finals to the PJB Leopard team and finished third. For the final, PJB Leopards squared off against Goma Bulls in a best of three series. Unfortunately Goma Bulls prevailed with strong rebounding and dominance inside to win the series, 2-1. 

 
 Trophies for the Junior and Youth teams who finished first in their tournaments.

Trophies for the Junior and Youth teams who finished first in their tournaments.

 

 

 

Jeune Voluntaire Tournament

Also this month, a new basketball organization in Goma, Jeune Voluntaire, held a tournament of their own. The tournament had three divisions: youth, junior and senior teams. PJB participated in the youth and junior tournaments, winning both. For the junior division the PJB Twiga team came home with the trophy, and in the youth division a select group of top youth players outlasted the select youth of Bukavu GoYouth (South Kivu, DRC) to win the championship.

 

Coaching Exchange Camp with Bold Academy

In an effort to encourage solidarity and build capacity amongst basketball academies of the region, four coaches from PJB travelled to Bukavu, South Kivu to host PJB's first coaching exchange. Please read about the experience as told by Coaches Ezeckiel Muhima and Denny Chiza (translated from French to English):

Coach Ezeckiel working on passing with the elite players in Bukavu

Ezeckiel- We left from Goma for Bukavu on Wednesday August 24, 2016 and arrived in Bukavu at 2:30pm. We were a team of four coaches going to give a camp to Bold Academy. We gave camps across three categories: Youth, Debutant (beginners), and elite.

Coach Sensel coached the youth camps, coach Denny coached the debutant camps, and I, Ezeckiel, was the coach for the elite camps. For me it was a pleasure to work with the Bold Teams and train the coaches there for 2 days. We taught the coaches how to teach the fundamentals of basketball and how to plan their practices. They asked us for a lot of advice for their program like how to develop discipline within their players. We also worked together to think of ways that Bold and PJB can better collaborate.

 

 

Denny- For me this was a great experience to share my knowledge (In coaching) outside of my province with another family (Bold) and to adapt totally to the new environment. Along with Bold Academy we shared and adapted all of the exercises we could give. We gave training to the coaches for one hour and worked with players and coaches on the court for two hours. This continued over two days. I think that Bold Academy benefitted a lot from the coaching training that we gave them.

Coach Denny teaching the beginners dribbling techniques

Education

English Classes

English classes began in the month of August for the Elite and Leopard teams at PJB. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday classes are offered for PJB players. These classes are taught by Emily Barry (Education Coordinator) and Matthew Kearney (Senior Coach) who are recent hires from the USA. These classes are the beginning of the English program at PJB, and hope to expand classes across all categories of players. 

 
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Rest In Peace

This month PJB lost one of its biggest fans. Papa Kasuku passed away on Wednesday August 17, 2016. Known by all as a positive force in the development of North Kivu, we look up to Papa Kasuku as an example for all members of PJB. We strive to continue his vision of a peaceful and prosperous region. You will never be forgotten. 

2006-2016 PJB's Ten Years Old!

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During the month of July, PJB celebrated it's 10th year anniversary. This month was filled with events, visits from partners and guests, opening of new basketball courts, and of course a lot of basketball. It was an exciting time for the organization and all the member of the organization. From the administration and board, all the way down to the baby-basket players, there was a lot for everyone to celebrate!

 

adidas Visit

Every summer since 2012, PJB has hosted a delegation of adidas volunteers to strengthen our partnership. This year we were able to welcome eleven members of the adidas organization to the PJB family. Over two weeks (July 3rd-July 16) the group of delegates ran daily activities in sports, education, arts, and culture. We are so lucky to have been able to share our family and experiences with the adidas team.   

Morning Warm-up Activities

Each day with the group begins at 7:30am with physical warm-up activities. This year we had a mix of warm-up activities including Yoga, Aerobics, and H.I.I.T. Every year these activities have been led by PJB staff or adidas volunteers. This year a group of PJB players learned to be fitness instructors and led the morning warm-ups for the second week of the trip.

Learn A New Sport

At PJB we understand the importance of cross training and appreciating all sports, not just basketball. This year's delegation of adidas volunteers brought their expertise in a number of new sports to introduce to the youth and share their athletic passions. This years new sports included: Volleyball, Hockey, Soccer, Capoeira, Irish Football, Body Combat, Frisbee, Crossfit and Tennis.

Workshops

This year the trip made great strides in introducing education into the program. Through workshops and classes, the adidas volunteers gave valuable learning experiences to the players of PJB. The workshops delivered included: Environmental Protection, 3C's (Creativity, Collaboration, Confidence), Physiotherapy, Communication, Culture, and Photography. These interactive and engaging workshops gave the PJB members an opportunity to develop life skills in an exciting way.

Wall Painting

Each adidas delegation has left their mark on the environment of Maison Des Jeunes, which is the compound in which the PJB facilities are located. The walls of the compound are full of inspirational quotes and colorful murals. This year three new walls were designed and painted on the premises. Each wall signifies important values and ideas that PJB stands for. This year's walls signify leadership, duty and desire.

Handi- Basket

The handibasket program has been flourishing at PJB under the guidance of head coach Kipere Mulolwa and Handi-Head Coach Jacques Assosa. adidas has offered extra training for the players and coaches over the past two summer in hopes of developing the premier handicap basketball program in the country. This summer the adidas delegation trained the handibasket players along with Coach Jacques in the afternoons, as well as developed paralympic games to run in accordance with the annual PJB-adidas olympic games.

PJB-adidas Olympic and Paralympic Games

Every summer, adidas and PJB plan an olympic games with the members of PJB to celebrate culture, sports, and sportsmanship. This summer the olympic games were set-up in conjunction with a paralympic games, to create an inclusive competition among all members of PJB. Fifteen teams were created to represent a host of countries from Togo to South Korea. The day began with an opening ceremony with a parade through town and an entrance into Maison Des Jeunes, where all the activities were played. The ceremony continued with a cultural/team spirit presentation before the games of the day began. Each of the teams competed both mental and physical activities testing their teamwork, creativity, and athleticism. Games included games such as table bouldering, slack-lining, long jump, bowling, blind football, and different types of relay races. The culminating game was a wheelchair basketball match while scores were tallied and awards were decided upon. Everyone participating in the games received a country tattoo and a certificate of participation. The winning country for the 2016 PJB-adidas Olympic games was Argentina!

Professional Player Visits

In our 10th year anniversary we were very happy to welcome visits from two amazing family members of PJB- Guy Muya and Bismack Biyombo. Guy Muya is a professional basketball player in Brussels, Belgium and also a member of the Belgian National Basketball team. Guy spent two weeks with PJB in Goma and coached during the basketball camps, ran his own practices with the elite players of PJB, participated in the Olympic ceremonies, played in the PJB summer league, gave life-skills workshops, and brought an amazing enthusiasm to the program. Bismack Biyombo is a board member of PJB and currently plays in the NBA for the Orlando Magic. Originally from the DRC, this is Bismack's second year visiting the PJB program. This summer he ran camps for the PJB players, refereed and coached summer league games, and helped in inaugurating three new basketball courts around Goma. Both Guy and Bismack's presence in Goma gained great appreciation and admiration from the youth of PJB and their positive impact on the summer's programing went a long way in celebration of PJB's tenth year.

10 Year Awards Celebration

To Celebrate our 10 years, we brought together partners, fans, players, coaches and all supporters of Promo Jeune Basket on Friday, July 15th for a celebration event. This event included the final matches of the PJB summer league, a dunk contest and special messages given from key members of the PJB family. The exciting afternoon featured speeches from founder Dario Merlo, medals and pins awarded to all active participants of PJB's summer events, awarding of exclusive PJB adidas superstar shoes, and even PJB players dunking over motorcycles and NBA players!

DRC Qualifies for the U18 African Cup By defeating Gabon

 PJB players with the rest of their national team teammates after their qualifying victory. Patrick Mwamba (No. 13), Lucien Mwamba (No. 8), Jospin Basima (No. 5, wearing jacket), Philipe Kasereka (No. 6), Michee Mianga (No. 12), Jerry Kabantu (No. 4) and Coach Kipere Mulolwa (far right).

PJB players with the rest of their national team teammates after their qualifying victory. Patrick Mwamba (No. 13), Lucien Mwamba (No. 8), Jospin Basima (No. 5, wearing jacket), Philipe Kasereka (No. 6), Michee Mianga (No. 12), Jerry Kabantu (No. 4) and Coach Kipere Mulolwa (far right).

On the evening of Tuesday July 5, 2016 the U18 DRC national basketball team defeated the Gabon U18 national team 75-53. After defeating Gabon for the first time 70-57 on Monday July 4th, this win qualifies the team to play in the FIBA U18 African Cup in Kigali, Rwanda beginning on July 22, 2016. This is an exciting time as the team will now travel back to the DRC and train at PJB facilities in Goma to prepare for the tournament. Please follow the blog to receive updates on the teams progress and scores, and keep updated with the official website of the African Cup at: http://www.fiba.com/africa/u18/2016

PJB Boys Players to Represent the DRC U18 National Team

 PJB Members (From Left to Right): Coach Kipere Mulolwa (1st Back), Lucien Mwamba (6th back), Patrick Mwamba (8th back), Michee Mianga (9th Back), Jospin Basima (1st front), Jerry Kabantu (4th front), Philipe Kasereka (5th front).

PJB Members (From Left to Right): Coach Kipere Mulolwa (1st Back), Lucien Mwamba (6th back), Patrick Mwamba (8th back), Michee Mianga (9th Back), Jospin Basima (1st front), Jerry Kabantu (4th front), Philipe Kasereka (5th front).

Head coach Kipere Mulolwa and six PJB Elite boys players have been selected by DRC's national basketball program to represent the country with the U18 national team. Since June 25th, the representatives from PJB have been in Kinshasa practicing with the other members from the team to prepare for the Zone IV African Cup qualifying tournament in Libreville, Gabon. The team departed from Kinshasa this morning. If the team succeeds at this tournament they will qualify to play in the 2016 FIBA African Cup in Kigali, Rwanda beginning on July 22nd. Please follow the blog to stay updated on the success of Coach Kipere and the boys.

PJB Elite Players Participating:

Patrick Mwamba

Philipe Kasereka

Jospin Basima

Jerry Kabantu

Michee Mianga

Lucien Mwamba

Gisembe Tournament 2016

 PJB Elite Boys team before their first match.

PJB Elite Boys team before their first match.

Every year an international basketball tournament is held in Kigali, Rwanda in remembrance of the Genocide of 1994. This tournament is called the Gisembe Tournament and is held at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali. This year both our boys and girls Elite teams were invited to the tournament. This was the third year participating in the tournament for the PJB Elite boys, and the fourth year for the PJB Elite girls.

The female teams who participated in the tournament are as followed:

Berco Stars (Burundi), PJB Elite (Goma, DRC), Scandanavia (Bukavu, DRC), APR (Rwanda)

The male teams who participated in the tournament are as followed:

Patriots (Rwanda), IPRC Kigali (Rwanda), Dynamo (Burundi), Boundess (Bukavu, DRC), Goma Bulls (Goma, DRC), PJB Elite (Goma, DRC)

Every year this tournament is a great opportunity for our players to gain international experience, and play against some of the top competition in the east/central Africa region. Our girls Elite team finished in third place despite playing without four key players (Davina Kabantu, Amanda Kabantu, Deborah Moto, and Christelle Lubango) who all had to miss the tournament to sit their second round of national school exams. The girls team was led by the strong play of guard Gemima Motema and forward Grace Irebu.

            The boys unfortunately didn’t place this year after finishing second in last year’s tournament. The boys were dominated on the glass throughout the tournament without the presence of starting forward Michee and reserve center Bretener Mutombo and David Kalala, who were sitting the state exams. Also missing from the tournament for the boys was Jerry Kabantu, who was missed both defensively and offensively at the starting point guard position.  The boys played hard in their normal fashion, but showed their youth and lack of size in their losses. A high point in the tournament for the boys was when guard Patrick Mwamba won The Top Shooter award in the tournament for the second year in a row. Patrick is a young player with great promise.

Though PJB was hoping for more success at the tournament, a lot was learned. Head Coach Kipere Mulolwa was disappointed in the results, but praised the fact that, “Both PJB teams were praised for their discipline shown and great sportsmanship.” Now that this great tournament is over, both the boys and girls teams turn their eyes to the future; Winning the provincial cup and returning to the Cup Du Congo.

Welcome to the New PJB Website

Welcome to the new and improved Promo Jeune Basket (PJB) website. This website serves to raise awareness of what PJB is doing in Goma, as well as promote education through sports throughout the world. With information about our education, leadership and basketball programs, we hope this website allows everyone to feel a part of the PJB family.

This website will inform you of our ongoing mission to empower the youth to use sports as a vehicle for change in their communities and the DRC. Our blog will serve to keep viewers up to date with programs, game status's, and all other relevant happenings around the program. In addition to these website functions, we have also integrated our social media outlets to keep you real-time updated with all that goes on within the PJB family. Please feel free to like us on Facebook, add us on Twitter, and Instagram.

At PJB we know that basketball is more than just a game. Basketball is the avenue in which youth can grow into respectful, hard working, disciplined, spirited, and active leaders within their communities. We hope you join us on our journey to change Goma, the DRC, and the world!

PJB Annual Report 2015

Every year PJB sets goals to further increase the reach and effectiveness of it's programming. Throughout the year our staff monitors and evaluates our progress towards these goals. At the end of each year we publish a report with our findings. Please view our 2015 annual report to understand better the impacts and programs provided by PJB. We also take great pride in our program prospectus at the end of the report to see the growth we hope to achieve during 2016.

2015  Annual PJB Report