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  • Writer's pictureEmil Gibba

Who would have thought that Gunjur would have such talented basketball players?

Well I found two, one hangs on the ring after making a basket and sends the fans to a roar (Massereh Zanglouis Jatta), the second was a basketball player that is forced into becoming one of the most decorated basketball coaches in the country (Adama Barrow).

Adama Barrow (L) and Massereh Zanglouis Jatta (R)

Considering that Gunjur has only one rarely used basketball lawn where young Gunjurians could horn their basketball skills, develop and turn their passion for the game into careers, who would imagine that few Gunjurians could rise through the ranks in the world of basketball in the Gambia to the point of being paraded as some of the best basketball players or coaches of this generation. Their story is ironical and intriguing.

 

Adama Barrow is the son of the Late Salifu Barrow and Fatou Bojang from Gunjur Kuluchoche. He is a D-Licensed, Internationally Licensed Basketball Coach and, just this week, he completed his Level 3 Certification of Atlanta Hawks Coaching Course backed by the USA Basketball E-Learning Program.


As a basketball coach, he holds the record of being the first ever basketball coach in the Gambia to win the female league championship with two different teams, the first ever to keep two different teams playing in the knockout championship in three (3) consecutive seasons; the first ever coach to reach the knockout finals with two different teams since the establishment of the league and he is the youngest coach ever to hold the above records.


He was the 2022 All Star Games Basketball Coach (Male and female) and the first ever coach to win the first ever GFF organised Beach Soccer Championship with GARRMY FC. He is a four times champion for Kotu High School as a former basketball player. He was a National Youth parliament "Youth in Excellence" Nominee in the sports category for the Birir Biri award for sports 2024 along side Gina Bass, who won..

Adama Barrow with his trophies as a coach

Adama started off as a basketball player from 2007 all through his high school days and won 4 high school championships for Kotu High School. He then joined Kotu Blue Ninjas where he played 8 seasons for them. He enjoyed being in two finals which were the Gambia Basketball Association GBA Final and Pa Amadou Sarr Tournament but lost both. However, his team won the final of the Shiekh Gillan tournament at Qcity but he missed out due to injury, which forced him to retire from the game to later pick up coaching. His love for the game is clearly unstoppable.


Upon retiring from playing basketball due to injury, Adama took up coaching in 2021/22 season as Head Coach of Kotu Blue Ninjas Male and Female Basketball Team. He is part of the few vastly trained basketball coaches in the Gambia suggesting the secret behind his great success as a basketball coach. Currently, he is the coach of Serrekunda West Male and Female Basketball Team.

Adama is also a highly decorated basketball coach having led Kotu Blue Ninjas male and female teams to three finals. In 2022, he led both teams to final, won a trophy with the female team but lost with the male, he again led the female to another final but lost to Serrekunda West. In 2024, he moved to Serrekunda West Basketball Team and he led both the male and female teams to four championship titles. The league title and the knockout for both the male and the female teams respectively.

 

Massereh Zanglouis Jatta is a Gunjur 33 (Jatta Kunda) born and Serrekunda raised basketball player. He is a five (5) times basketball champion in five (5) years with Serrekunda West, three (3) times player in the All Stars Game, represented his team which is Serrekunda West Basketball Team in four (4) international games in Sokon, Zinguenchor, Dakar and Mbour respectively.

 

Massereh’s journey to the top list of best basketball players in the country was born out of sere dedication, support from family and determination to succeed. Growing up, Massereh or church boy, as he is fondly called by his basketball folks and fans, would rather bounce objects than kick them, he was a natural jumper. He would repeatedly jump in a race than do a regular run. When football was popular among his mates, Massereh would rather mind the net where he gets to use his hands more than his legs. He has always been tall and very much athletic. If you’ve watch him grow, you won’t be surprised to learn that he is a basketball player today, and that he is one of the best in the country.

Massereh Zanglouis Jatta

Massereh’s love for the game sprang up when he was 19 or 20 years old. On a day that he was scrolling through the channels at home, and he came across a channel screening a basketball game, captivated by the beauty of the game, he was pinned into watching the entire game, “I was actually scrolling the channels on TV and I bumped into one that was showing basketball, and before you know it, I watched the whole game” and there he knew that he had found his game, “So after that I started training and playing”. Now he is highly followed by basketball fans and aspiring football players in The Gambia. Well known and loved by fans for his incredible utilisation of his height which allows him to make a basket and hang on the ring thereby throwing the fans into a roar. I remember one time hearing a fan in one of his games shouting “I’m going home, this is what I came to see, I’ve seen it, so I’m going home”. This is when Massereh was hanging on the ring again after making a basket.

These two stars from Gunjur won two trophies together. It’s ironical that people in Gunjur could come this far considering that basketball is not alive in Gunjur. However, these stars are working on bringing the game to Gunjur, to their hometown, to their roots.

 

Few other rising stars in the game of basketball from Gunjur are not mentioned in this article. Halimatou Jallow for instance, is a young lady from Gunjur who is in love with the game and she is learning how to play the game. Hopefully with the game given life in Gunjur, a lot of stars could be produced from Gunjur.


Who would have thought that Gunjur would have such talented basketball players?

Halimatou Jallow

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Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
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