history & background
Our Story – How it all started
This is a story of how a passion for the game of basketball, the love for children, dedication and commitment to community and youth development ignited the spark that transformed into the existing, exciting and ambitious African grassroots basketball development organisation now called Hoop Dreams Africa.
Founded by Francis M. Nakoonje, our story originates many years ago in a small town of Monze 250Km South of the Capital City of Zambia and deeply rooted in the concept of sport for development. He’s vision has always been centered on providing Zambian and the African youth with opportunities and possibilities to Dream, Believe and Achieve through teaching and coaching and inspiring the youth to recognize their potential, achieve their ambition and realize their dreams through the game of basketball.
Originally started as (Beyond Sport Integrated) in 2008, the organisation has transformed and grown over the years to serve more than 35,000 children and youth annually who participate in various sports activities integrated with health education and life skills activities through community sports-based youth programs. Growing the organization’s impact however has being shaped by the strong belief that we can build healthier and stronger communities through sports activities by attracting and focusing, building and expanding our footprint of youth basketball on the continent of Africa.
The journey officially began after June of 2010 upon his return from South Africa at the first-ever held FIFA Soccer World Cup in Johannesburg. “At the time of me going to South Africa, I was already involved in various youth basketball activities of teaching and coaching children and youth basketball in my home town of Monze, Southern Province of Zambia”. Francis a Zambian national, who played a lot of basketball in secondary school and also played in a basketball league was born and raised in Lusaka, the Capital City is Africa’s biggest Boston Celtics fan, only moved to Monze in Southern Province after his secondary school and got involved with sports organisations.
“I was first introduced to the game in my 8th Grade at a Boys Boarding School and my admiration for the way the game was played and how they scored made me fell in love with the game. Basketball pretty much kept me out of alot of trouble in my days at school and fun enough my Mom a retired Primary School Teacher encouraged and supported me in sports participation at school. And my memory of watching NBA Games on National TV during holidays exploded my interest and passion for the game instantly”.
Through his many years of ambition, Francis and his team at Hoop Dreams Africa organisation wants to build a basketball ecosystem in Zambia and on the continent that allows children to be introduced to the game at grassroots and be able to receive game fundamentals while developing and promoting talent and providing opportunities and possibilities for those that dream of having a basketball career. We’ll continue to develop and promote what the game of basketball has to offer with a life-long commitment of inspiring, educating and empowering the African youth and by making the game as an effective tool for social development. At Hoop Dreams Africa; Dreaming, Believing and Achieving are part of our mission. From schools and community to the playing fields, we’re committed to building a movement that enriches our team culture, enhances our ability to deliver, and strengthens our impact on the programs. And we are dedicated to continue creating those opportunities for children and youth to dream and have the skills to make their dreams a reality.
We’re inviting you to join our mission and share our vision. Come dream with us and share the African dream.
Hoop Dreams Africa’s leadership consists of our Management Team as well as multiple Advisory Boards, consisting of International Advisors, Regional Advisors, National Advisors and our Global Dreams Ambassadors all working in tandem to advance the organization’s mission and vision. Our Advisory Board are a group of experienced professional experts drawn from different professions that serves as a powerful asset and are an engine for effective and objective advice, building key relationships, forging strategic collaborations and partnerships and broadening the organization’s support base and all work together to help elevate the organisation’s fundraising potential, broadening our connections, and amplifying our vision through the implementation of our organisation’s Strategic Development Plan.
Francis M. Nakoonje
Founder & Director
The management team is led by Francis M. Nakoonje, who is the head of the organisation and Secretary of the Advisory Board. An ambitious, passionate and dedicated personality who has an amazing interest and great passion for the game of basketball and combining his roles and experience as a regional basketball executive, basketball coach, sportsprenuer and his extensive experience in Non-profit management and administration. Francis is a FIBA trained and certified youth basketball coach. He’s also trained in game Basketball Analytics and Statistics and in Sports Management and Administration. As a pioneer, vision carrier and touch bearer himself, Francis is determined to build the next generation of African youth basketball stars through the Hoop Dreams Africa.
Kennedy Mulonda J
Admin & Finance Director
A natural Admin-person, with years of successful experience in Non-Profit Administration and Management, Kennedy brings to the team a big personality and high energy level to match. He has a traceable strong track record of his role. An extremely self-motivated, energetic, tenacious and results-driven, with an unparalleled work ethic. Kennedy has exceptional skills and experience in business administration, finance and accounts and project management.
Senior Program Officer Basketball Skills Development
A seasoned basketball player and coach, Nchimunya’s passion for the game of basketball is always unmatched. A FIBA Level 2 trained and certified youth basketball technical coach, Nchimunya’s experience in game management and player development has allowed him to further advance in developing the best set of coaching skills tools. Nchimunya has actively been involved in basketball programs at both regional and national levels for over 10 years as a Regional Technical Coordinator and Assistant Coach for the U-18 National Basketball Team.
An extremely motivated and goal-oriented basketball specialist with solid experience in the player development and basketball skills training. Lawrence brings with him demonstrated ability to both support and manage community and school based programs through the Hoops for Education and possess outstanding communication, education skills and hands-on experience to drive successful basketball programs and teams.
Deborah M. Buumba
Girls Programs Coordinator
Deborah is a Master Coach for our Star Shine Girls Program who provides and manages young girls skills training and is passionate about girls empowerment through basketball and eager to see a positive change in society.
A self-motivated, active and resourceful individual driven by commitment to excellence and passion for impacting young girls with basketball skills, personal development, health education and sexual reproductive information.
Deborah is a dynamic young female sports leader who thrives at an interaction of sport, business and community relations and a rare combination of vision, impact and strategy development. Her mission is dedicated to building and promoting a foundation for young girls and female leaders to actively participate and thrive in sports and be the highest version of themselves in life.
Board Structure and Composition: The organisations Advisory Board is at three levels namely; National, Regional and International. It is composed of a diverse group of well-informed Professional Executives with the best mix of skills, expertise experience and industry knowledge and exposure in various fields of training in the sectors of sports, health, media and communication, education management and international development and Non-profit management ready to greatly optimise effectiveness and immensely add value to the organization’s sustainable growth and development and enhance the image of the organisation.
international advisory board
Strategy Development Advisor
Daniel is an International Business Professional and Executive with experience and expertise in business management and leadership skills. He brings to the organisation a wealth of knowledge and expertise in creation and formation of strategic partnerships, marketing and brand development and business sustainability practices.
Daniel is the Founder, CEO & Head of Product of World One On One Ballers Association (WOOOBA), a grassroots sports tech “PlayerProfile” platform for pickup games with over 26 Years of Global Technical Service, Sales and Marketing Development in Mobile, UX Design, Web Development, Analytics and Electronics and has a lifelong passion for grassroots sports and loves helping people especially the youth grow a better sports life.
As Strategy Development Advisor, Daniel oversees and leads all aspects of the organization’s strategic initiatives focused on best practices, sustainability efforts and special initiatives and works closely with the organization’s Founder & Director to ensure the goals, plans and projects established by the organisation are met.
Daniel is a father and husband, an entrepreneur, a leader and a practical serving Philanthropist who’s committed to supporting African youth and community development initiatives through his various business ventures.
Edna K. Mutaka
Edna brings with her vast experience and expertise in Programmatic, Management and Financial support of Civil Society Organizations in the areas of Capacity Building, Resource Mobilisation, Strategic Planning and Development, Budget Tracking and Analysis, Community Engagement and Social Inclusion. Edna a Development Specialist by profession has a wealthy of experience in Civil Society and Advocacy work and currently works as Provincial Coordinator for the Zambian Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) a Network of over 104 Civil Society Members involved in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and National Development Planning of Poverty Reduction programmes in Zambia.
Brooke L. Gladney
Basketball Development Advisor
Born in Atlanta, a native of Georgia, Brooke was raised in a single-parent household, as the only girl. Her mission is to invest and help build communities and understands the importance of giving individuals the tools of self-confidence, self-worth, vision and purpose and her goal is using sports as a tool, while integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M).
Brooke has extensive experience and expertise in Youth Sports Programs, Community Impact and Engagement, Youth Development and Marketing and Operations having worked with WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, Atlanta Hawks Jr NBA Program and the Y City Sports League of the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta. She has also served in AmeriCorps as the first sports member for Notre Dame Mission were she transitioned into the Sports Coordinator role for the Y City League, after her service year, the roles which has allowed her to actively engage in all of her passions; sports, community, youth and business.
Brooke curently serves as Manager of Community Impact and Operations for Texas Legends, the NBA G League Affiliates of the Dallas Mavericks.
Partnerships & Marketing Development Advisor
Denise Kamyuka is an accomplished academic and sport industry professional who is bringing to the Board a wealth of experience, expertise and skills gained in sports management and global health, business development, marketing and social entrepreneurship and research and project management. Denise has served on the junior board of Kids in the Game (a sports youth development organization in New York) and helped establish St. John’s University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Sport Research, as project manager for the institute. A Ph.D. Candidate in Sports Management and Leadership (with a collaboration in Global Health) at the University of Western Ontario, Canada and has also interned for UNICEF USA’s Sports Partnerships and went on to work as a community liaison, Athlete Representative and Project Manager for Millennium Sports Management Group. She currently serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator with Athletes For Hope in the USA and Canada where she works to educate athletes on athlete philanthropy and connect them to charitable and advocacy opportunities that align with their passion and philanthropic brand. Before embarking on a career path in Sport Management, Denise worked as a regulatory Pharmacist and Marketing Manager for Medswana (Pty) Ltd in Botswana. As part of her portfolio she managed the business development and marketing of Ultimate Sport Nutrition (USN) Botswana.
Marketing and Communications Advisor
Adrienne Gatanas has a 20 years plus illustrious career in International Communication, Strategic Partnerships Development and Project Management. She has extensive experience in Event Planning and the ability to interact at senior levels of high impact across international projects and partner nations. Adrienne is passionate about building bridges and linkages that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Best described as a Basketball Mom, Adrienne draws her expertise experience and inspiration from her recent work at the UN and did Consulting with USAID Millennium Challenge Corporation and World Bank. She possess a great passion and determination for how sports and diplomacy can be used to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together to promote peace around the world.
OUR CORE VALUES
The following Core Values are what defines Hoop Dreams Africa as a values-driven organisation and we are dedicated and committed to holding these values and principles;
1. Passion – Is at the heart of the organisation. The love for what we do and why we do it, a consistent reminder and pride associated with it. For us, passion is an attitude that drives us to go above and beyond in our pursuit and execution of our goals.
2. Africanacity – The African way. “Ubuntu, I am because we’re”. The distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done, meeting every challenge with tenacity, ingenuity, positivity and creativity.
3. Collaboration – Defines how our team works together. A factor that leads to more innovation, efficient processes, improved communication, an important role in building a strong bond in the organization and promotes a positive and productive environment.
4. Discipline – The systematic and consistent drive to do what needs to be done to attain the desired results. A value that has helped us stick and stay fixed to our goals. Not only has this practice allowed us to establish a positive action but has enabled us to stay positive.
5. Commitment – A willingness, to give our time and energy to something that we firmly and strongly believe in. An utmost pledge to give our time and energy to the organization’s cause and have an opportunity to live this core value every day.
6. Determination – We’re resolve to advance our mission and vision on the continent in the face of challenges and obstacles. We’re dedicated to the cause and this value has allowed us to persevere and remain steadfast toward achieving our goals.
7. Hope – It is said that hope is the waking dream and a lack of hope impact negatively on anything. And as such, we’re always filled with high hopes for the African children and youth and are expectant with confidence of our work on the continent.
8. Opportunities and Possibilities – We strongly and firmly believe in the power and potential of the game of basketball by providing opportunities, creating possibilities, influencing positive social impact and building a sustainable social development program that provides the African youth the opportunity to be coached and mentored through integrated basketball skills development programs.