Was the UCBA tryout a success!

December 1, 2018

UCBA 2018 Cambodia Basketball Tryouts In Lowell, Massachusetts 

It’s November 1,2018 and UCBA (United States Cambodian Basketball Association) is hosting their first official tryout in the United States. There were eager participants from various distances. The hopeful, excited, nervous, Cambodian  decent players from around the United States, Canada, and one from France came to see if their talent was good enough to be able to play on the National Team for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines. None of the players did not know what to expect. Most of the basketball travelers were finally going to meet players from the National team in person. They seemed to be in awe and respect for players like Pek Mith and Sop Toun. They have played on the team the longest, and most successful players have had so far. They definitely deserve the admiration of aspiring players for their efforts throughout the year. 

The UCBA members in attendance, including Sunny Sok and President Sokhary Chau. They have expressed their reasons for the tryouts was not just to find new players, but bring unity for Cambodian support. The UCBA goal is to win a medal at the 2023 SEA Games that Cambodia will host. Sokhary is determined to find the best talent they can find. But.......

Since the highly increased exposure to the Cambodian National Team from the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. There has no short of criticism. From Facebook and other social media outlets. There has been concerns that the Cambodia basketball program isn’t concerned with winning. Some of the critics say that they are only want to put players that are friends and affiliated with family members. The critics believe that if you are not in the circle, you will not play. True or not? We we will certainly find out in the coming months who will be on the roster for the 2019 SEA Games. So there is some pressure added to the UCBA to see if they are really interested in finding the best Cambodian basketball players. 

Yes, despite matter what your opinion is, the tryout was a success because there were over 40 players participating with members of the National Team. They left with a feeling of gratitude and family from the gracious host from players like Pek, Dominic, Tommy, Sop, Will, and Sop. 

They all left with a new sense of optimism for the Cambodian basketball program progress. No matter if they made the roster they enjoyed their time with the players and organizers meeting new friends. There was a lot of Cambodian pride. Alan Khou from Utah said it was his first time in Lowell and he did not regret going. Alan said it was an amazing experience to be with so many other Cambodians who enjoyed the game of basketball. He received positive vibes from his time there, and believes that Cambodia Basketball is on the right track. 

We believe he is correct! But if Cambodians repeat the past of putting politics before progress, then Cambodia basketball will be stuck for decades being ranked around 150th best program in world. Bringing Cambodia basketball to its best potential is not only good for the UCBA, but great for all Cambodians around the world. We have been known as a people that are jealous of each other, and do not work well together. Let’s change that, we can start by being united in the growth and progress of the Cambodian National Team and the Cambodian athletic community.