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Friday, September 28, 2001

Basketball - Sarawak’s Idham proves that size does not matter

KUALA LUMPUR: He may have the built of a sumo wrestler, but the size hides the fact that Sarawak captain Idham Khalid is one of the best non-Chinese basketball players in Malaysia.

The 20-year-old was inducted into the youth team in 1997 and had to live apart from his family who are in Miri, Sarawak.

"I was selected into the team and had to move here. It was a move which had made me a better player," said Idham.

In 1998, he grabbed the "Most Valuable Player" during the National Nike 3-on-3 Basketball Challenge where the national juniors were crowned as champions.

They went on to the Asia Pacific level but bowed out to the Philippines in the final. However, Idham was selected as one of the "Best Trio" of the tournament. The other two were Filipinos.

Due to his playing abilities, Idham was then selected to represent Malaysia at the 1st World Adidas 3-on-3 in Paris in 1998 and according to Idham, it was an experience that he will never forget.

"I had the chance to play against some of the best players in the world and it gives me an opportunity to improve myself."

However, the third child from six siblings had to take a break from the game due to family commitments. Idham had to quit the team and return to Sarawak to help his parents with family business.

In this year's 7th MABA-Petronas Cup, Idham’s big size proved to be an advantage to his team.

"My big size does not hinder me from playing the game I love."

"In fact, I see it as an advantage because my opponents will have to put more men to guard me and this gives the advantage to my teammates to score," added Idham.

Yesterday, Sarawak grabbed their second win in the tournament by beating debutants Terengganu 112-59 and will meet Petronas today.

Selangor 83 Negri Sembilan 74; Sarawak 112 Terengganu 59; Sabah 114 Perak 63; ATM 40 Petronas 105.

Source: The Star

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