It was a typical sight with students going through the paces on the SMK USJ4 basketball court, recently. on Saturday .
However, it was a surprise that there were more girls than boys on the court for the occasion when AND1 Streetball Challenge organisers hosted a coaching clinic at the school as a build up to the challenge's fifth leg to be held at Subang Parade on July 30.
A total of 17 of the 25 budding cagers that took part in the one-hour session were from the fairer sex.
For the past eight months, a group of more than 30 girls have been training under the guidance of former girls' national junior cager Tan Lai Ling.
The challenge's coaching clinic co-ordinator Max Chong and national cager Loh Shee Hong were also present to assist the students as they went through the shooting, passing and dribbling drills during the clinic.
This season, SMK USJ4 girls' Under-18 team lifted the Selangor Schools Sports Council (MSSS) Subang Jaya Zone Basketball Championships and also finished as runners-up in the MSSS Petaling District Basketball Championships.
“We are trying to form a respectable girls' Under-15 side with 10 new players comprising Form One and Two students,” said Tan, who coaches the girls for two hours in the morning on every Saturday.
Form One student Goh Hui Ling is one of the beginners who just picked up basketball this year when she joined the school.
“I wanted to try something new. It is more fun playing in a team sport together with my schoolmates,” said Goh, 13.
Jessie Tan reckons that she could stimulate her physical growth especially her height by staying active in the game.
“I want to grow taller,” said Tan, who stands at 1.45m.
Tan, a former SJK (C) Lick Hung student is looking forward for her debut outing in the challenge.
“I took up basketball when I was in Year Five. Previously, I have only participated in the three-on-three competition organised in the primary school. Competing against stronger opponents will spur me to work harder to improve on my game,” added Tan, 13.
The first round defeat at the season's challenge opening leg in Summit USJ is no deterrent for Form Two student Eunice Chang, 14 to do better in up coming challenge.
“I will be forming a team with another two of my Petaling district training centre trainees. Besides gaining experience competing against other more established teams, the carnival atmosphere at the challenge is also an opportunity to make new friends,” said Chang, who is a member of SMK USJ4 girls' Under-18 team.