Kamas' hoops dream

PHOTO: The New Paper

He only started playing competitively in the sport seven months ago, and Kamas Mohd steadily improved.

Soon he was in the selection trials for the national team, and was good enough to make the final squad that will represent Singapore in wheelchair basketball at the ASEAN Para Games, which will be held here from Dec 3 to 9.

It is a remarkable journey, and is not a surprise to those who know the 44-year-old (right), who prides himself on his independence.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Kamas revealed how he turned down offers from family members who wanted to accompany him to training sessions.

INDEPENDENT

"I am independent. I stay alone and I will always do (things) myself," he said.

There will be 15 sports at the 8th ASEAN Para Games this year.

The Republic will host around 3,000 athletes and officials, and the seven-day multi-sport event will have their competition venues mainly at the Singapore Sports Hub and the Kallang vicinity.

Wheelchair basketball, which will be held at the Indoor Stadium, is expected to be a big hit, with its crash-bang style, and Kamas cannot wait to get going.

Speaking yesterday on the sidelines of a demonstration to the media, he admitted he thrives on challenges.

While he had fun playing wheelchair basketball with his friends, he appreciated how "tough" it was when he fought to get into the national team.

The affirmation by coach Brigitte Lichtenberger gave him a boost.

"My coach told me, 'you have improved so fast. You have become better in so many areas.' That was good to hear and made me want to get even better," said Kamas.

These days, training sessions for the squad of 10 are three times a week, which means life is slightly more frantic, as he juggles with his job at Bizlink, a social enterprise that provides employment for the disadvantaged, including the disabled.

Kamas heads straight to training after work, as he and the rest of the Singapore team strive to hit their target at the Games.

The Singapore wheelchair basketball team aim to win a medal on home soil in December.

Two months ago, the team bagged a bronze at the Tri Nations Bali Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

Swiss coach Lichtenberger has good vibes, especially with the home crowd support.

"I'm hoping Singaporeans will create a really unforgettable atmosphere and inspire the athletes to reach the maximum of their abilities," she said.

"That is the goal."

jsoh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 7, 2015.
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