King of the court
Hashoongo was introduced to basketball at the age of 14 by a friend and since then he has not looked back. He captained his high school team, the Windhoek International School Knights for three years before being selected to represent Namibia at the 2008 SCSA Under-20 youth games in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
In 2009 Hashoongo joined Namibia’s leading Basketball league, the Khomas Basketball Association (KBA), playing for the Civic Suns before transferring to the Polytechnic Blues in 2010. Only 19 at the time, he was the league’s youngest captain.
Traditionally Hashoongo takes on the role of small forward, but he occasionall plays in the shooting guard and power forward positions when required.
Earlier this year, he was selected to the preliminary TISAN National basketball team but was forced to withdraw due to eligibility reasons.
“I’d like to play in a more competitive and more professionally managed league as the growth of basketball in Namibia is limited and I don’t see myself playing in the KBA in the next two years,” Hashoongo confessed to the Economist.
Despite his passion for the sport, Hashoongo said there are challenges that are part of the sport such as trying to adjust to the different styles of the different referees as each has their own interpretation of the same rule.
He has since found that players treat basketball as a medium for social interaction and is less competitive as a result. “Another challenge is the lack of a senior national team, it would motivate my peers and I to work harder, consequently improving the quality of basketball in the country.”
Although there are shortcomings to the sport, Hashoongo has made great strides and has earned his stripes as a basketball player.
In 2011, King Penda was voted as the Polytech Blues Most Valuable Player (MVP) by his teammates and coaches. At the awards ceremony, his mentor and high school basketball coach, Charles Nyambe presented him with his award.
Hashoongo has always wanted to play basketball in Europe and as the year draws closer to an end, there are strong indications that 2013 may be the year his ambitions will be fulfilled.