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BANMI officials eager to share experience to improve sport - May 11, 2006

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Basketball Association of the Northern Mariana Islands president Mike Muna and vice president Elias Rangamar returned from their trip to New Zealand on Monday and the duo is eager to share what they learned in hopes of improving the state of basketball in the Commonwealth.
Muna and Rangamar took part in FIBA Oceania抯 Administrators Seminar in hopes of enhancing their knowledge and skills on improving basketball programs, joining 14 other national federations within the Oceania region.
Over 30 other officials from the host country, Australia, American Samoa, Fiji, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Guam, Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands also took part in the seminar.
The seminar focused on the administrative side of a federation, as well as the developing technology that FIBA hopes will improve the sport in the Oceania region.
"In terms of the administrative part, we went through strategic planning卆nd the seminar emphasized the importance of doing strategic planning for all the different federations. It was all about outlining all the different parts of planning on how to make basketball work, from an administrative, budget, coach, and referee standpoint. It dealt with developing plans for each one of those areas," Rangamar said.
Muna explained that during the next BANMI board meeting, which will be held on Oct. 19, he and Rangamar will bring up to the board the need to provide FIBA a strategic plan, as well as a yearly calendar.
"We need to give them a strategic plan for the future and give them an annual calendar of events in the CNMI," Muna said. "FIBA is saying 憀et us know what抯 going on and how can we help you?" We were exposed to a training facility with athletes that train all year round for something that will be held four years from now.
"The concept there is to think about sports and that it抯 not just to prepare for three months or a year for a competition, but have a plan and prepare years ahead of time."
Muna explained that if everything gets in line and those involved in the sport fully understand the need to prepare for future events, CNMI basketball could improve against other countries in the Pacific.
"It抯 an eye opener for us and in order for us to succeed in any sport, we need support from the community, government, and we need to have coaches that coach from the very beginning and continue on. We cannot have this revolving door of coaches. Win or lose, we need to make sure they learn from their mistakes," he said.
Both expressed similar thoughts on the need for all BANMI board members to cohesively analyze the structure of the organization, determine its weakness and strengths, and build from there to improve.
At the seminar, the administrators were also introduced to the FIBA Organizer, a computerized competition management and website program which will be distributed internationally and will be used by 212 basketball federations throughout the world.
FIBA Oceania staff have been working with SportingPulse, a Melbourne-based technology company, for the past four years to develop a computerized competition management and website program.
"With the FIBA Organizer, we upload a lot of different information from our games here, even rosters, and memberships卆nd we can tell how many members we have, how many people are playing basketball in the CNMI," Rangamar said. "We can upload stats and all other federations and FIBA can go in and check."
Muna and Rangamar also learned to use another software known as Cyber Sports, which is similar to the FIBA Organizer, but focuses mainly on statistics and play-by-play of each game.
"Cyber Sports厀e keep track of stats like rebounds and assists, and we can do play-by-play on a laptop during the game. Two  

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