Dunman coach key to school's rise in basketball prominence

Dunman coach key to school's rise in basketball prominence
Dunman Secondary School basketball coach Danny Wong, a mathematics and physical education teacher, with the girls' basketball team.

When Danny Wong returned to Dunman Secondary School after graduating from the National Institute of Education in 2006, he was handed a daunting task.

The mathematics and physical education teacher, who had taught at the Tampines-based school while at the NIE as part of his curriculum, was asked by a colleague to help set up a girls' basketball team.

He had no coaching badges and could only rely on his playing experience when he was a schoolboy, but Wong agreed.

"I didn't expect to be involved with basketball when I came here," said the 35-year-old, who played the sport from secondary school to university.

To make the transition to coach, Wong turned to books and online videos.

Said Wong: "The teacher-in-charge of the boys' team at the time (Tan Jing Yang) was a close friend of mine and he asked me to set up the girls' team with him.

"We didn't have a lot of resources back then and, for the first few years, it was quite tough to really stand out from the pool of very good basketball schools."

After a series of top-four finishes in the East Zone competition, the big breakthrough came when Wong guided his first batch of girls to the B Division title in 2009.

It was Dunman's first basketball title.

It was the start of a golden run, as Dunman's girls' teams went on to clinch four more titles in the C and B Divisions, with Wong involved in three of them.

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