Young Hanoi ballers chase hoop dreams at VBA tryout

It’s every young basketball-obsessed kid’s dream to step out onto the court and go toe-to-toe with their idols in the professional ranks, and that’s exactly what more than 300 Hanoians got to experience over the weekend.

The Hanoi Buffaloes, one of the capital’s two Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) teams, held a tryout on Saturday, giving young ballers the chance to get put through their paces by professional players and coaches, and perhaps even win a spot on the team.

On the rise

Basketball as a sport is on the up in Vietnam, as evidenced by the regularly packed VBA stadiums, despite the league only being four years old.

Youngsters up and down the country love the sport and in big cities like Hanoi or HCM City, public courts can be booked out for weeks at a time by keen ballers.

For Hoang Ngoc Quang, the tryout was the chance of a lifetime.

“I think I need to show my best to make a good impression on the club’s recruiters,” he said.

“I hope to be noticed by the recruiters and selected for the team after the tryout.”

Young Hanoi ballers chase hoop dreams at VBA tryout
Hanoi Buffaloes point guard Bui Thai Ha dishes out some coaching to youngsters at the tryout. VNS Photo Dang Nguyen

Quang added that he’s played the game since the eighth grade and that the teenager has played almost every single day since then.

While all the entrants to the tryout will have been hoping to be picked up by the team and become pros, the truth is few will make the grade, but that doesn’t mean the day will have been a waste.

VBA teams nationwide have been holding similar events and while the stated goal may be picking up some diamonds in the rough, it’s clear the league wants to make sure it stays grounded and part of the thriving basketball culture in the country.

The VBA’s top players aren’t inaccessible superstars who hide from their fans behind PR managers and tinted windows, they’re part of a boots-on-the-ground effort to grow the game in Vietnam.

This was clearly in evidence on Sunday, as some of the top Buffaloes players put the young hopefuls through their paces.

Young attendee Nguyen Thanh Nam told Việt Nam News he knew he hadn’t played well enough to make the team, but still came away pleased with the experience.

“My performance today was not good enough, I still made some technical mistakes,” he said.

“I hope that professional teams like this will organise many more tryouts so that we will have the opportunity to participate,” he said, before adding, “through the tryout, I met a lot of Hanoi Buffaloes’ players. I met Huy Hoang and he taught me a lot more about dribbling techniques.”

 

Take it from a pro

The established players at the tryout had plenty of advice for their young charges, having gone through some of the same things themselves.

Bui Thai Ha has played four seasons in the VBA as a point guard and he got his start at a similar tryout.

“When I started playing in the VBA, I also participated in events like this, along with my old club Thanglong Warriors and the current club Hanoi Buffaloes,” he told Việt Nam News.

He added he was thrilled to see such enthusiasm from the youngsters, even in the sweltering heat inside the gym.

The Buffaloes’ point guard Sang Dinh may have taken a different road to the VBA as a ‘heritage player’, but the Vietnamese-American said that the steps to success are the same for everyone.

“We can see who’s a hard worker by the way that they’re showing their effort out here, effort and energy,” he said.

“We just base it off of effort and energy and as a basketball player you can see potential when you know it. So that’s what we’re looking at here we’re trying to gauge who can come here and grow.”

Dinh added that in his time playing in the country, the level of play in Vietnam has dramatically increased, especially among young players.

“I’ve been playing here for five years so from then to now the level has changed tremendously. Kids weren’t used to playing one on one, you know kind of like shy. But as the basketball scene has evolved the kids have evolved as well,” he said.

The team’s assistant coach Bui Thanh Binh echoed those sentiments.

“Vietnamese basketball in recent years has developed very well, pro clubs, basketball clubs in elementary schools to universities and amateur clubs have developed very well, the number of people participating in basketball is increasing day by day,” he explained.  VNS

Peter Cowan & Dang Nguyen

VBA season set for late July tip-off

VBA season set for late July tip-off

While teams and fans alike are excited for the start of the new Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) season, the start date has been pushed back to late July, while the league's first-ever All-Star event has been scrapped.

Top five local and overseas Vietnamese players in basketball league

Top five local and overseas Vietnamese players in basketball league

If you are missing your fix of basketball because of COVID-19, don’t worry. We hav compiled a list of the best players since the Vietnam Basketball Association(VBA) Leagues started in 2016.

 
 

Other News

.
Sai Gon FC sign young striker Nguyen Hoang of PVF
Sai Gon FC sign young striker Nguyen Hoang of PVF
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

Surprise V.League 1 leader Sai Gon FC have strengthened their squad with the loan signing of 18-year-old striker Vo Nguyen Hoang from the PVF (Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent Football Training Centre).

Hanoi exhibition shows multiple faces of life
Hanoi exhibition shows multiple faces of life
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

Da Dien (Polyhedra), an exhibition gathering emerging artists of Vietnamese contemporary art has just been kicked off in Hanoi.

Online meeting discusses preparations for SEA Games 31
Online meeting discusses preparations for SEA Games 31
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

The Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) is convening a virtual meeting on July 21 and 22 to review Vietnam’s preparations for hosting the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) next year.

Da Nang International Marathon to return next month
Da Nang International Marathon to return next month
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

The 2020 Manulife Da Nang International Marathon will return to the central coastal city from August 7 to 9, with the message “Vietnam Can”.

Vietnam’s culture, coastal life impresses Russian audience
Vietnam’s culture, coastal life impresses Russian audience
VIETNAM & WORLDicon  22/07/2020 

A photo exhibition themed ‘travelling Vietnam through photos’ opened in Moscow on July 21, introducing the charm of the Southeast Asian nation with a focus on culture and coastal life to Russian audience.

Opening time for Hue Festival 2020 adjusted
Opening time for Hue Festival 2020 adjusted
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

The Hue Festival 2020 will open on August 26 this year, two days earlier than the previously-decided date of August 28, the festival organising board said on July 21.

Paintings on lotus leaves
Paintings on lotus leaves
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/07/2020 

The lotus plant is very spiritual and loved by Vietnamese people from all walks of life.

Websites showing free movies without copyright persist
Websites showing free movies without copyright persist
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/07/2020 

The effort to block websites providing noncopyrighted movies has brought initial success, but after one website ‘dies’, another website often arises.

“Light Gate” wins first prize in “Kilometre Zero landmark” design contest
“Light Gate” wins first prize in “Kilometre Zero landmark” design contest
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

 “Light Gate” by Pham Trung Hieu, Pham Thai Binh, Vu Binh Minh, Pham Huy Dong and Nguyen Dang Hai from Hanoi won the first prize in a contest to design the “Kilometre Zero landmark” - 

Beauty queens gather for fashion show by designer Hoang Hai
Beauty queens gather for fashion show by designer Hoang Hai
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

A large number of beauty queens took part in a fashion show recently held by renowned designer Hoang Hai to mark the return of the fashion industry in the post COVID-19 period.

Trang wins national table tennis champs
Trang wins national table tennis champs
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

Mai Hoang My Trang triumphed in the 38th National Table Tennis Championships which concluded in HCM City over the weekend.

Several sports dropped from upcoming SEA Games 31 schedule
Several sports dropped from upcoming SEA Games 31 schedule
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

Up to 20 sports will not take place during the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which Vietnam is scheduled to host next year, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Design contest seeks regenerated products
Design contest seeks regenerated products
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

The Designed by Vietnamese contest with the theme of 'Regeneration' for designers nationwide is now calling for applications until the end of August 28.

Vitality of Vietnamese ancient costumes
Vitality of Vietnamese ancient costumes
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

Designer Nguyen Duc Loc has been in love with ancient Vietnamese costumes for a long time. He has devoted much effort to restoring and introducing the traditional beauty of these costumes to the public, especially to the younger generations.

Children’s book fair opens at HCMC book street
Children’s book fair opens at HCMC book street
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

The second HCM City Book Fair for Children to promote the habit of reading among young people is being held on HCM City's Pedestrian Book Street till July 26.

Three on three basketball hits central Hanoi
Three on three basketball hits central Hanoi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/07/2020 

If the legendary founder of Hanoi King Ly Thai To didn’t know how to crossover his opponent, step back and drill a three-pointer before this weekend, he does now.

HCM City history museum launches tuong performances
HCM City history museum launches tuong performances
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/07/2020 

A new art programme offering tuong or hat boi (classical drama) has just been launched at the HCM City Museum of History as part of the museum’s efforts to introduce Vietnamese culture and theatre to visitors.

Colourful costumes of ethnic groups in northern Vietnam
Colourful costumes of ethnic groups in northern Vietnam
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/07/2020 

The northern province of Lao Cai is home to a large number of culturally rich and diverse ethnic minorities groups. 

Theatre offers drama training for children in summer
Theatre offers drama training for children in summer
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/07/2020 

Children in HCM City are encouraged to join training courses in performance skills launched by the Small Theatre, a leading private theatre, this summer. 

Coronavirus: China's cinemas start to reopen after shutdowns
Coronavirus: China's cinemas start to reopen after shutdowns
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/07/2020 

The country is the second largest film market in the world after the US, with a box office of $9.2bn in 2019.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN