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Young basketball player brings her A- game

The Economist caught up with Lino Simão during training this week at The Katutura Youth Complex. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

The Economist caught up with Lino Simão during training this week at The Katutura Youth Complex. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

Lino Simão is a young and upcoming Namibian basketball player, who plays point guard for the Basketball Artist School (BAS) in Katutura. Currently a grade 8 learner at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School, the 14 year old sees herself as one of the best female basketball players in the country.
When  Simão started playing basketball in 2010, she had no idea that her passion for the sport that has made many others famous in countries such as USA, would take her beyond Namibian Borders. When she first joined the team it was just one of those things, she would do to pass time, until she realised that she loved dribbling her basketball rather then doing anything else.
“I decided to join basketball when I saw how much fun it was. At first I learned how to dribble the ball and then the rest followed. I have been playing for the Basketball Artist School (BAS) as point guard since 2010 and currently I serve as the head captain of team,” she said excitedly. BAS is a collaboration of the German non-profit-making organization ISIBINDI and the Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF) which is supported by DBB, DOSB and the German Federal Foreign Office.
Simão singles out Kobe Bryant and Lebron James as her basketball role models and said that her greatest moment since the start of her journey as a basketball player was when she was selected to go to Athens, Greece with the Special Olympics last year. “I was also one of four players from my team who got selected to go on a three week trip to Germany during August last year and also had the privilege to represent Namibia at the COSSASA youth games as part of the U20 National Team in Zambia, Lusaka,” She added.
However, Simão pointed out that although she loves playing basketball, she does not think that one can build a career out of the game alone, hence she decided that once she completes  her secondary education, she would like to study to become a Geologist. “When I grow up, I want to become a geologist but I will still play basketball. Once I become old, at least I would want to have a real career to fall back on. A person can not really make a career out of sports,” she said.

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