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Queen of basketball

Indilah Matsi (with the ball)

Indilah Matsi (with the ball)

Few people possess the drive to win and even fewer have the ability to do so time and time again. The Economist took time this week to catch up with a young woman of such standards.
Indilah Asmerald Matsi began her basketball career in Vienna, Austria at the young age of 13 and has been on the go ever since.
“I was playing street ball with some guys and my sister when they encouraged me to try out for my school team.” Matsi says.
A natural talent, she excelled immediately playing for her school – Vienna Christian School. While at the school she was voted the Most Valued Player in 2003 and 2004. Her talents proved exceptional and allowed her to travel to places like Hungary, Romania, Germany and many states within Austria.
Until 2005 Matsi played under the UBBC black diamond’s basketball club where she sharpened her skills with each game.
Upon her return to Namibia, Matsi’s ambition and talent on court was undeniable and soon big league coaches such as Paulo Cassanga, Mpume Hlabangana and Allan Nghixulifwa took note of her good ball handling skills and the enormous potential in her to be a shooter.
Despite initial setbacks in the Namibian basketball scene, Matsi would soon assert her prowess on the courts and she has now become a force to reckon with in local basketball circles.
Taking the position of shooting guard and sometimes point guard, Matsi has successfully taken part in major tournamounts such as the Under 20Games  in Potchefstroom, South Africa and the Tisan Games in Botswana and here in Namibia.
She has been a member of the National basketball Team three times and currently plays for the Tomahawks.
Her achievements are testimony to her dedication and skill in the sport having received a coaches’ award in Austria. Her skills on the court have led to three consecutive championship titles for the Tomahawk and in 2010 she was voted the Most Important Player and the best three-point shooter at the basketball All-star games.
Although she has achieved a lot in her young career, Matsi still faces challenges in the sport: “Here in Namibia it is recognition and fair play. We don’t have the best referees and this is killing our sport.”
Despite the challenges ,Matsi still looks to the future with hope: “I would like to be an inspiration to the younger and upcoming basketball generation and to one day be a part of a team that makes an impact on the growth of Namibian basketball.”
Matsi is also hopeful that one day a Namibia basketball team will make it to the Olympics.

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