Today, the Rising Africa team is joining the Coca Cola Ghana@60 team to celebrate Coach Feranmi Maja Olunloyo of DC Dynamics Basketball. This dynamic Coach is using the power of team sports to motivate and influence young people to become more responsible adults.
Coach Feranmi has lived most of his life in Ghana. He is the son of a Nigerian father and his half Nigerian, Half Ghanaian wife. He is a graduate of North Ridge Lyceum, Achimota School and the University of Ghana. Having played competitive basketball throughout his school days; transitioning into sports administration and coaching came naturally for Coach Feranmi.
The idea for DC Dynamics started out as a gathering of players in the community to play basketball during Coach’s teenage years. The enthusiasm for the sport was nurtured in that space. However, after being in teams that suffered incessant defeats at international tournaments, Coach started a quest to learn the secrets of success of the teams that were emerging winners. He found the answer watching kids in neighborhoods play recreationally. He noticed that there was very little direction given to players at the fundamental stages. He also observed that there was a general lack of professionalism of the sport in Ghana. He knew that something had to be done to make the game more attractive and professional. He did not wait around for someone else to change things; he set about changing things the best way he knew how.
Thus, he began to study star athletes and master coaches on TV and the internet. Coupling the information with the peculiar problem the Ghanaian player faced, he set about developing a new model to train players to become dynamic players. He figured that by targeting younger players, he would nurture the next crop of athletes and equip them to become the game changers needed to move basketball forward in Ghana. Yet the training model did not just end at basketball training with Coach Feranmi.
Coach Feranmi realized that no matter how good his players became, basketball would always be a small part of their lives. He realized that his players were people and would have to play the game of life as fathers, wives, employees and entrepreneurs. After realising that the educational system is focused on passing exams without building practical skills and character skills, he decided that he had to do something to help the next generation become better equipped to deal with adulthood. Everyday he came into contact with children and teenagers who needed guidance. Being older, and more experienced, he became a positive role model for these children. DC Dynamics became more than a sports team; it evolved into a fraternity where members learn about the game, good character development, relationships, and more.
Training usually occurs on Saturdays at the May’s Educational Centre in Dansoman. The players are grouped into five training programmes ranging from 8 to 30 years. DC Dynamics also conducts school training programmes, clinics and outreaches where the senior team visits schools to share their experiences in life and sports. All these activities are geared at building practical skills, character skills, integrity and general well-being of the young people they come in contact with .
With over a thousand players coming through DC Dynamics throughout the years, Coach is brimming with stories to tell. He tells of one player who has confidently and successfully established a Basketball apparel Shop which now employs people. Then there is a little chubby boy who gained confidence, skill and a fit body after persevering under the training of DC Dynamics. Another player is now a sought after consultant who credits DC Dynamics for his confidence and character. Yet another went through DC Dynamics and is now a leading athletic trainer treasured by his school and his students. Coach had many success stories to share and it was obvious he views his players as family. It is very evident that the focus of DC Dynamics is not just on winning competitions but overall development of the people they work with.
DC Dynamics has partnered with several schools to conduct school programmes, clinics and outreaches. One key partner has been May’s Educational Centre where the training sessions take place. In addition, partnerships with Waterpark Sports (Basketball equipment and apparel Shop started by one of his players), Ghana Basketball Association, Brian McCormick (US), Kofi Oteng of PS&S Pharmaceuticals, and media partners like Rite Sports and One Shot studio have been very helpful in moving DC Dynamics in the right direction.
Coach Feranmi hopes to continue his quest of helping players develop their full potential through sports. In particular, he is looking for successful Ghanaians in diverse fields who will volunteer to speak and motivate the players and help broaden their field of knowledge. It has come to his attention that many of his students are not acquainted with Ghanaian success stories. He believes that such a level of exposure will help them understand that they have the potential to also achieve great things. He firmly believes James Baldwin’s assertion that, “children have never been very good at listening to their elders but they have never failed to imitate them.”
We salute your dynamic approach Coach!