Monthly Archives: juillet 2011

The Top Five at Camp

The following players were selected at the five best at Luc’s recent basketball camp in Cameroon:

NOAH NDZANA GERMAIN
MBALLA MENDZANA BENOIT
EMBIID JOEL
TCHIENGANG TANKOUO WILLIAM
MOUSTAPHA ARAFAT

Congratulations to these five, and to all of the participants of the camp.

Teaching The Game to Give Back in Cameroon

Greetings from Cameroon, where I’m conducting my second annual Luc Mbah a Moute Basketball Camp.

We completed pre-selection for the camp last week with visits to my hometown of Yaounde and also Douala. I left for Cameroon on Monday, July 11th and the Yaounde pre-selection was July 13th. Then it was over to Douala on the 15th to see the rest of the potential campers.

From those two tryouts, we narrowed down a large turnout to just 50 young players. We posted the names of the playershere on my website.

Last year was the first edition of the camp and it was really successful. To get the top 50 kids age 12-16 from the two pre-selections, we had to narrow down a group of about 350 players to just 50 for the camp. With those kinds of cuts, you get to the cream of the crop so it’s really the top players in the country. Then at the end of the camp, we select five players to represent Cameroon at Basketball Without Borders.

Last year, four of our five players made the All-Star team at Basketball Without Borders and the MVP of Basketball Without Borders was the same kid who was the MVP of my camp, so I was really happy with that. It was a really great experience.

Four of the kids from the camp last year are now in the United States on scholarship, going to high school and kind of doing what I did. To me, that’s my way of giving back. My goal last year was just to have one kid get a scholarship and go over to the United States. To have four now, all going to high school in the U.S, is incredible.

If every year I can have at least one kid that has the chance to go to the U.S. and get a better education using his athletic ability, that would be great.

That’s what made me who I am. I had a chance to do pretty much the same thing. So I think it’s important for me to go back and give back to the kids. Hopefully then, sometime in the future, they can become better basketball players and get a chance to become professionals.

TEACHING FROM THE TOP
The game has grown a lot in Africa, but at the same time, it hasn’t.

Where it has grown is that basketball is now the second most popular sport in Africa, behind soccer. You can tell just by looking at the NBA Draft. It was crazy for me to see how many players from Africa were selected. Back in the day, it used to be one or none. Nowadays it seems like every year there’s somebody from Africa coming in and making an impact on a team. That’s good. It shows how the game has grown in Africa. The talent is here.

But we still have trouble with facilities and equipment. It’s the same trouble that we had when I was growing up. That’s kind of sad because now we have kids wanting to play and ready to get involved with basketball but they don’t have the means. A lot of kids don’t even have basketballs to play with. They don’t have courts that they can go to and play. Sometimes, even if they have those two, there’s really nobody to teach them how to play.

That’s a big problem for basketball in Africa right now. It’s something that guys like myself and other players that go on and become successful in basketball have to try to address along with the federation and hopefully NBA Africa. We have to work on the infrastructure to help out the talent that is here.

It’s also one of the things I try to address at my camp. Every kid that comes to the camp, we give them plenty of gear including a basketball and shoes and then we try to teach them basic skills.

This year’s camp begins on Friday, July 22nd and I’m really excited about it. The goal of the camp, along with helping a select few kids try to get an education, is to help all of them learn the basics of the sport. A lot of kids here, they just get up and play. They don’t have coaching and it’s kind of hard for them to develop the knowledge of the things you need to play the game.

So in the morning we’ll have a drill session where we really teach them the fundamentals of basketball. We’ll do a bunch of different drills and break the group down into stations. We’ll do ball-handling, shooting, L-cut, V-cut. Just stuff like that. We put them in a one-on-one situations with the coaches so they can really learn.

In the afternoon, we come back and do some team stuff, like the five-man weave and other team drills. Then we’ll let them play for about an hour and myself and a group of coaches will sit there and watch them to evaluate the players. That’s how we select the top five.

We had a big partner who came on board this year and they’ve been doing a great job promoting the camp. I think everybody is excited. A lot of the guys saw what the camp did for last year’s top five, giving them an opportunity to travel, come to the United States and get a better education using basketball. So now, so many kids want to participate. I think it’s good that all of them are getting involved. It gives them something to look forward to and something to work toward.

Even for the kids who don’t make the top five, with those morning drills, we try to give each student a blueprint of what they can do on their own or with their friends to get better. By the end of the camp, you don’t have any more excuses. You have a basketball, you’ve been taught how to play, now make the best of it.

It’s a guideline for how to get better. If you go out everyday and you do what you were taught here at the camp, there’s no doubt that next year when you come back you should be a better player than you were the last year. Hopefully that will work out with the guys that were here last year. We’ll see this year how much better they got. The point is to just give them those drills and hopefully they can take that knowledge in and use those drills and the gear to become better players.

ENJOYING AFRICA
While I’m in Africa for the camp, I’m hoping to spend some time with my family and travel around the country a bit. I haven’t done that in a while. I want do the tourist thing for a couple of days.

I really appreciate the support everyone over here has given me and shows me whenever I come back. In the first few years after I went over the U.S., when I came back, a lot of people didn’t know about me, because they were all just big fans of soccer.

But over the last couple of years, with the success I’ve had and the growth of basketball, along with the different stuff I do here, I’m more recognized when I’m walking around. I always make sure to take time for the fans. It’s great to be back. People always show me love and support me in everything that I do.

I’m looking forward to another successful camp and a great trip home. Thanks for reading, everybody!

2011 Campers Announced

Congratulations to the campers who have been selected for Luc’s 2011 Basketball Camp in Cameroon.

The official list is as follows:

TSANGUE CEDRIC
BELL MBENOUN DOMINIQUE
BAKINDE ARTHUR
OMGBA OMGBA CHARLES
BANGAI DINAMOU
TCHEUWA NKAMAHA KEVIN
MBALLA MENDZANA BENOIT
MBARGA PATRICK
NOAH NDZANA GERMAIN
METILA ONANA DAVID
BESSALA FERNAND AIME
NGUIDJOL JEAN
ABISSECK A NGON ERIC
EMBIID JOEL
ARIEL GASTON BOITTIAUX
BOGSO ADOLPHE
NTAMACK CONSTANT
TSOUNGUI MENGBWA FRANCK
AKOMO STEVE CEDRIC
AWANA BELINGUINE BERTRAND
TCHIENGANG TANKOUO WILLIAM
KUM CHUTE IWIYE
AYANGMA AGOUME STEPHANE
MIENNE EYENE LUDOVIC
MFON MOUNCHILI JACQUES
AYIAGNIGNI POUTOUOCHI ABDOULAYE
MOUSTAPHA ARAFAT
MAYNARD MARC
TCHUENTE PATRICK
MOUAHA SIEWE ADRIEN
OBA-ELLE RAOUL
LOE YVAN
AZANGUE BRICE ROMARIC
NZEUSSEU DJOUNTCHEU MIKE
BAINAI SYLVAIN
ADOUM ABBA MBANG
NJIKE BLERIOT
NDOUGLEY CHRISTIAN RODRIGUE
AZANGUE DREVET ARNOLD
YANA JEAN PIERRE
SOULEYMAN SAAR GAMAI
PANCHA MOUSTAPHA
MINYANGADOU MADOLLA STEVE
MOUKOURI NSAI FRANCK
BASSINGHA MARTIN JONATHAN
SIEKOU MOUATCHO JEAN
WADJA NGAMGA HERVE
MVONDO ESSOGO PAULIN
TCHAMDA BRICE
TCHADJEU SIAKAM TCHAMO PASCAL

Working Hard to Get Better

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. I’ve been working out in Austin, Texas for the last few weeks, just trying to improve my game.

I’ve gotten better every year since I came into the league, but there are definitely things I feel I need to do to take the next step. I’ve improved my shot, which was something that was criticized when I came in. I think it’s made a lot of progress.

I’m continuing to grow my game offensively and I’ve also become a better defender. My goal is to continue to build my game. I think, if I can do that, I’ll be able to help my team and hopefully put myself into a situation to one day be Defensive Player of the Year.


I’ve been doing a lot of explosion workouts so I can get to the rim and finish better next season (Getty Images).

This offseason, I’ve been working on just trying to get my athleticism and some of my explosiveness back. I’m doing a bunch of body explosion and quickness training. I think it will help me offensively get to the basket and finish better. I’ve been focusing on that a lot. I’ve been working more on my shooting as well.

My jump shot is getting better. I have worked hard on that. I want to become a consistent three-point shooter. But I also want to develop a post game. I have a chance to go down in the post, create a mismatch and I want to be able to score down there. The explosiveness workouts are helping with that, so I can get to the rim.

In the offseason, my workout is broken down depending on the month. In July, I do a lot of body work. Then in August, I still do body work but I’ll phase in more basketball drills. I still do basketball stuff in July. I shoot the ball a lot all summer. But when August comes I’ll be working out on the court a lot more, doing drills and things of that nature.

It’s not easy to work on defense in individual workouts, but one thing I can do for my defense in the summer is watch some game footage. I like to go back to see how I guarded different guys, what I can do to limit the top scorers in the league. I look for what they did to bother me and what I did to bother them. I’ll watch a few games a week to get through the whole season.

For defense, there’s not one specific exercise that you can do in a workout. I personally have never done any exercise defensively that I can say helped me. But I think if you get your body in good shape, that helps. If you’re strong enough to hold your ground in the post, but quick enough to guard a smaller guy, you’re in good shape and you’re going to get there.

Offseason workouts are different for everybody, we’re all working on different aspects of our game, whether it’s shooting, ball-handling, rebounding, anything. But first and foremost it’s all about taking care of your body. If you always keep your body in shape and train for next season, then you’ll stay healthy. That’s the main thing you want to do.

My advice for younger athletes training would be to always go hard. Whenever you train, always try to go through game situations as much as you can. Then when it comes to the game, your transition will be smooth.

Even with the lockout, I’m still training as if the season is going to start in October. If it does start in October, I’ll be ready. If it doesn’t, I’ll just continue training some more. That’s my mentality about it.

I’ve worked hard to get to where I am and I know I need to continue to work hard to get where I want to go. It’s a long process, but this is the best thing in the world to do for a living. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

When you think about defense, it’s not always the skills. It’s willingness. You have to work at it. You have to want to do it. I’m really relentless when I get to work. I want to get better. I want to be the best. That really helps me when I go out there.

I’m in Africa now for my camp in Cameroon and some work with Basketball Without Borders. Check back soon for my blog about the camp!

Stuck in Lockout Limbo

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is widely regarded is one of the best values on the free agent market this offseason, but after the NBA owners issued a player lockout at 12 a.m. on Friday morning, it could be a long while before Luc learns his fate.

As Luc, who happens to be the Milwaukee Bucks’ player rep, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the players are looking at a long haul before a deal can be made.

« It could be a long summer as far as getting a deal done, » said Mbah a Moute, who serves as the Bucks’ player representative and attended a session with owners last week. « It seems every move we make a lot of money is being taken out of our pockets. I know it’s going to be a little while. »


It could be a while before Luc Richard goes up for another rebound (Getty Images).

Luc technically hit the restricted free agent market at midnight as well. But there will be no negotiations with the Bucks, who extended a qualifying offer on June 21st in an attempt to retain him, or any other team.

« It’s always good to get the (qualifying) offer, » Mbah a Moute said. « It just means you’re appreciated and your work is valued. »

The qualifying offer permits the Bucks to match any offer presented to the Prince by another team, which, as John Schuhmann ofNBA.com writes, places the ball firmly in Milwaukee’s court if they want to bring No. 12 back.

« Mbah a Moute is one of a group of free agents who should provide good value for their cost … but only if other teams are scared away by their restricted status.

Given the parameters of restricted free agency, it will be hard to pry Mbah a Moute away from the Bucks, Arron Afflalo away from the Nuggets, Mario Chalmers away from the Heat, or Thaddeus Young away from the Sixers at a reasonable price.

Mbah a Moute has averaged less than seven points a game in his three years with the Bucks. But you’d have a hard time finding a player who can defend both forward positions as well as he can. Just ask Dirk Nowitzki, who has shot just 43 percent with Mbah a Moute on the floor over the last four seasons. »

Along with Schuhmann, Sean Sweeney of Dime Magazine also lists Luc as one of free agency’s top values this offseason:

« A Battier in training…he’s one of the most versatile defenders in the league. He’s covered Kobe. He’s checked LeBron. He’s rumbled with Kevin Garnett. He’s a perfect example of someone who may never win an individual award but every GM will always want him.

But despite that value to all 30 teams in the league, Luc told the Journal-Sentinel that the lockout has put him in a difficult position as an RFA.

« I’m hoping everything gets resolved with the work stoppage and we come to an agreement (with the owners), » Mbah a Moute said. « After that, I want to get the best deal possible for myself.

« It’s a very tough situation to be in (with the labor situation unsettled). I’m kind of stuck. I hope there will be interest from other teams, » he said. « I consider myself one of the best defenders in the league. Whether I’m in Milwaukee or with another team, I want to be in a situation to get some wins and compete for a championship. »

LOCKOUT PLANS
No. 12 is hopeful that the owners and players can come to a fair agreement without sacrificing a part of the season.

« There’s got to be a lot of give-and-take to come to an agreement, » Mbah a Moute said. « The league is at its best right now and there’s a lot of enthusiasm around the game. The last Finals were great. »

Meanwhile, Luc will use the lockout time to train and help others. He is currently working out in Austin, Texas for the next few weeks before he heads over to his native Cameroon in July for his camp with Basketball Without Borders. In August, he intends to play for his national team in the African Cup.

« The game is growing overseas, » he said. « Right now is not the right time to be in a lockout. »

Upon his return to the states, Luc Richard told the Journal-Sentinel that he will continue working out in Los Angeles with his eye on preparing for the season. But he will also be taking classes aimed at completing his degree at UCLA.

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