Dubai: Dubai Sports Council has launched a basketball Development programme for Dubai clubs, with the aim of developing the skills of Emirati coaches and players.
The initiative has been launched under the framework of Decision No 4 2020 of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, which makes it mandatory for all government clubs of Dubai to appoint an Emirati assistant coach for all first teams in all team sports.
The development programme is being conducted by Lebanese basketball legend Fadi El Khatib, who will give lectures, conduct workshops and supervise the training of players and coaches at Dubai clubs, and at Champs Ahead Basketball Academy, throughout the season.
The programme will involve workshops and practical training sessions, and participating Emirati coaches will be able to earn advanced training badges (Pro Licence) through the programme, which will open further doors for them.
The program seeks to groom Emirati coaches to be able to work at different clubs and sports companies and gain confidence as well as experience on the job. It also seeks to give them an opportunity to enhance their abilities and develop their skills; and to support and encourage Emirati coaches, and contribute to the refinement and development of their technical abilities.
This programme is a continuation of initiatives launched by Dubai Sports Council over the years to support, develop and empower Emirati coaches, a phase which began years ago with the decision to appoint Emiratis as assistant coaches in the first football team at all Dubai football clubs and companies, in addition to appointing Emirati coaches to lead all reserve teams at Dubai clubs.
Nicknamed the “Lebanese Tiger” for his aggression and scoring prowess, El Khatib took part in three consecutive FIBA World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010), where Lebanon defeated the likes of Venezuela and France in 2006. He also played a stellar role as Lebanon finished runners-up at three FIBA Asia Championship finals (2001, 2005, 2007).
El Khatib also played a big part in Club Sagesse Beirut’s success during the late 1990s and early 2000s, helping the club win seven Lebanese Basketball Cups, two Arab Club titles, and three FIBA Asia Champions Cup crowns. The wingman also spent a couple of seasons in China, playing for Foshan Long Lions (2015-2016) and Fujian Sturgeons (2016-2017).
After the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, where El Khatib finished among the top 10 scorers despite Lebanon losing all their games, he was invited by Michael Jordan’s personal trainer, Tim Grover, to train with the legend, who was quite impressed with the Lebanese. El Khatib also tried out for the Sacramento Kings as well as the Los Angeles Clippers in 2003.