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.