Joel Khalu

Khalu returns to PNG Basketball

Khalu served as PNG's national team head coach for 2012 to 2017.

Khalu believes that focusing on teaching fundamental basketball skills well, especially to the younger ages, the playing standard throughout the country will rise.

FIBA Competitions Manager, Amanda Jenkins Khalu had been instrumental in the growth of PNG which culminated in a massive performance in last year's Melanesia Cup.

Meantime Khalu is observing the current National Championships which will determine who will join the pool of players to be considered for their 20-19 Pacific Games.

Khalu steps aside as CEO

The 36-year-old cited family reasons for his resignation, and will head back to his hometown of Cairns to be with his father Paul, who his currently fighting an aggressive form of cancer.

“It is with sadness that I step aside from my role as chief executive officer of BFPNG at this time.

“However, being with my family is my absolute priority and especially helping my dad as he faces this battle,” said Khalu.

BFPNG president, Nick Daroa, endorsed Khalu’s decision and thanked him for his service to the sport.

Time to shine is now

Both teams are currently undefeated after two days of the 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup.

Khalu, who is also the Men’s Head Coach, said PNG has been ready for this challenge.

 “We have so many things in our favour for this tournament.

“Firstly, we’re playing at home, on our home court in front of our family, friends and fans. If we can replicate a similar atmosphere to that of the 2015 Pacific Games, that’s going to be a huge advantage.”

Khalu and Muri appointed to lead national teams

Joel Khalu will again take the reins of the men’s side, while PNG basketball legend Moi Muri, has been named as head coach of the women’s team.

After leading the men to a fourth-place finish at the 2015 Pacific Games, Khalu has retained his position as mentor of the men’s senior representative program.

The 36-year-old first coached the PNG men’s national team at the 2013 FIBA Pacific Championships in New Zealand, where the team finished seventh.

Close to 2000 participate in Twilight Basketball

At each gathering, young people aged five to fifteen had the chance to play full-court games of 5X5 basketball from 5pm to 7pm.

Once the 5X5 games concluded at 7pm, the courts then shifted to a half-court set-up, for 3X3 competition matches for players aged sixteen and older, which ran until 9pm.

Hoops for Health (H4H) coaches, which include members of the national men’s and women’s basketball teams, stepped in as mentors, helping give tips on how to better play the sport.

Twilight Basketball to start this afternoon

Following on from the program’s huge success late last year, the second instalment of Twilight Basketball will once again see the Hoops for Health (H4H) initiative being delivered.

More than 2,000 people participated throughout the program’s six-week operation in 2016, with some Friday night’s drawing crowds of more than 400.

The free program is open to all ages, with 5V5 games for children aged 15 & under taking place from 5pm to 7pm and 3X3 matches for those aged 16 & over happening from 7pm to 9pm.

Using basketball to pioneer peace

Each Wednesday for the past three-weeks, children between the ages of eight and 12 have been coming together for the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea’s (BFPNG) Pikinini Hoops program.

Not only are kids being taught fundamental skills like dribbling, passing and shooting, they’re also learning important life values including friendship, teamwork and enjoying their sport.

It comes at a time with yesterday being the United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

Basketball reveals blueprint for milestone year

The national federation has released its activity plan for the year, with the major focus on establishing and building competitions at the men’s and women’s senior level.

The FIBA Melanesian Cup will be held in Port Moresby in late September this year and prior to that BFPNG will the host national championships for men and women in July.

CEO of the BFPNG, Joel Khalu said the federation will also be rolling out its brand new men’s & women’s national “Super League” competitions, before the PNG Games takes centre stage in November.

Basketball to increase coaches and officials

Chief Executive Officer of the BFPNG, Joel Khalu said they will work in partnership with the PNG Sports Foundation’s High Performance department and the PNG Olympic Committee to deliver free up-skilling workshops next week at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Complex.

He said the organizations will be combining the delivery of two dynamic courses over three-days. The first being the Oceania Sports Education Program (OSEP) Community Coach & Official Course and the Hoops for Health (H4H) Coach Accreditation Course.

Remarkable turn up during H4H program

Joel Khalu says this is remarkable, after seeing the number of participants exceeding the expected number.  

The program attracted a lot of participants in just a week, due to it being open to people of all ages.

"We actually had a number of older players comment about the vibe and how they've never been part of a sporting environment like that in PNG before. That feedback was really great to hear," Khalu said.

"To have 319 participants in week one is a huge accomplishment.