SAIGON TIMES July 2016: VBA’s Catfish hook American head coach

The VBA is set to launch in cities across Vietnam.

The VBA is set to launch in cities across Vietnam.

By Harry Hodge
American Dave Singleton has seen the world coaching a game he loves. And now he’s bringing that drive to help grow the game of basketball in the Mekong Delta.
Following last week’s launch of the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA), it’s clear that basketball’s popularity is about to enjoy a massive boost nationwide, with teams in Ha Noi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and the intriguing location of Can Tho. Singleton, an assistant with the Saigon Heat of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), is going to be the first head coach in the history of the Can Tho Catfish franchise.
“There is tons of basketball talent down here, from Can Tho, Soc Trang, and Hau Giang,” Singleton said. “(There’s) tons of untapped potential.”
After coaching at Salesian High School in his home state of California, he landed with New Zealand’s Nelson Giants before heading to the ABL. Each VBA franchise gets an import player and a “heritage” player of Vietnamese descent, so Singleton expects to lean heavily on Oklahoma native Tavarion Nix and Tam Dinh, who hails from Houston, Texas. Saigon Heat veteran To Trung is going to suit up for the Catfish during the VBA season, but is likely to return to his ABL squad when one season concludes and another begins. The VBA regular season will run from August to late October, with playoffs thereafter. The ABL season is slated to start in December.
Singleton also mentioned Vietnamese player Le Van Day a “versatile wing and great slasher to the basket,” as well as crafty point guard Khang Dat, being keys to the Catfish and their potential for success.
“My expectations will be to develop these men into professional day-to-day basketball players,” Singleton said. “We also expect to compete for a championship. That’s why we are playing this game.”
For more information about the fledgling VBA, visit their page on Facebook.

About hodgedude

I'm a Canadian journalist and teacher, most recently living in Edmonton and Toronto, now located in Ho Chi Minh City. Graduate of Concordia University in Montreal. I've taught English in S. Korea, pulled rickshaws in Canada, taught at a Taiwanese language boot camp, edited newspapers in China and played a French-speaking Spanish colonel on Vietnamese TV. I also play Australian football. Pick up a copy of issue one of my independent comic, "Getting Lucky," at Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, the Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick, and the Spotted Cow Pub, 111 Bui Vien, District 1, Saigon.
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