Basketball Federation appoints National Coaching director

The Basketball Federation of PNG has appointed Mr. Gavin De La Cruz as its national coach director to carry out the strategic objective of developing and improving its elite teams.

"Basketball is one of the three most popular sports in the country, with an extremely high participation rate. However, in order for our sport to become competitive, it would be appropriate to extend it gradually across the country using a technical skills-based bottom-up approach." According to Mrs. Emma Waiwai, President of the Basketball Federation of PNG,

Mrs. Waiwai, the President, also welcomes coach Gavin De La Cruz and hopes to create lasting change through quality in-country coaching workshops.

"On behalf of the board, management, and the PNG basketball community, I'd like to congratulate and welcome coach Gavin De La Cruz to the role. He has been instrumental in the Federation's high-performance development since 2020; we have seen the results of his efforts, and we now want to make it a long-term improvement for the benefit of the code and community, allowing us to progress at all levels.".

De La Cruz was born in Lae, Morobe Province, and moved to Australia at the age of five, where he gained substantial basketball experience, serving as Coaching Director for Special Olympics West Brisbane for 5 years and Vice President of the Board for two years. In addition, he was the coaching director at several well-known private schools, where he oversaw a comprehensive coaching programme targeted at teaching and developing future coaches.

De La Cruz said, "I have grown up using basketball as a safe place to go. It is a crucial part of life to develop personal goals, achievements, discipline, respect, and responsibility.".

Coach De La Cruz represented PNG in 2023 as Head Coach for the FIBA U17 Oceania Championships and most recently as the Assistant Coach for the Men’s team, Also assisting the women’s team throughout the tournament during the Sol2023 Pacific Games, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

De La Cruz decided to change pathways from being the Head Coach for the Ispwich Force's NBL1 women’s team to now, National Coaching Director for PNG Basketball.

"I create pathways and opportunities for players and coaches. Coach Gavin De La Cruz's coaching motto is, "I don't create teams; I create families”.

This year, the federation will hold coach development workshops in all four regions of the country, beginning with the Highlands, Momase, and the Islands, and concluding with the Southern area.


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