Allahyarham Tuan Syed Jaafar’s Great Contributions to SDAR Basketball:-
After we won the Knock-out Quarter-Final and while waiting for the Semi-Final on Saturday (8th March ’13), I took SDAR Redwings players and teacher-in-charge to rest, from the burning heat of the sun, at my nephew’s apartment in the Politeknik Mersing, where the PPM Inter-SBP South Zone B’ball Tournament was held. After reciting Al-Fatihah and a short doa for our beloved SDAR former HM (1969-1974), Allahyarham Tuan Syed Jaafar (TSJ), I told them the stories/facts about TSJ’s great contributions to SDAR Basketball. the stories I am writing now are not only for Redwings but are also vital info to RADS.
Story No. 1:
If I could recall it right, the interest in Basketball in SDAR Tg. Malim started in late 1968 (when I was in Form 1), and it was sparked off by our Temporary Teacher, Cikgu Johari (budak MCKK rasanya), who came to play almost every evening in our Gymnasium. We were fascinated by his hook shots (ala- Lakers’ Kareem Abd Jabar’s style) from somewhere where the current 3-point line is. From there on, many of us joined him (Mat Rahman, Dato’ Halim K, Dato’ Charop, Dato’ Ramly Ali, Ali Awang, Tan Sri Nik Mustapha, Prof Zamri Chik, Ramli Musa, Azmi Weh2, me and many other dribblers). For us, Form 1 and Form 2 boys, during Physical Education the whole bunch will crowd the b’ball court in the Gym. 1969 was really a basketball craze year. Allahyarham TSJ gave his fullest support and was very passionate to develop Basketball as our new active sports game in SDAR. TSJ was the key driver in our students’ project to build a basketball court, between Rumah Shahbandar and Rumah Sultan, by SDARians with great assistance from our Industrial Arts teachers. Laying of concrete was done class by class (Form 1 to Form 4), b’ball posts and boards were fabricated in-house utilising our metalwork and woodwork workshops. SDARians were indeed very proud of this basketball court. We could also play at night, since the court was equipped with fluorescent lamps. In 1970 & 1971 we had an American Peace Corp, Mr Olav, who became our first coach.
When SDAR first moved to Sikamat from Tg.Malim in 1972, our school was not equipped with a basketball court and Mr Olav did not continue to be with SDAR. Allahyarham TSJ wrote to our neighbor, Principal of SMK Tunku Durah, for us to use their basketball court. So we trained and played among us at Tunku Durah. By 2nd Quarter of 1972, came another American Peace Corp, Mr Robert Lane, who was actually on temporary posting at SDAR prior to be posted to a rural school. When Tunku Durah wanted back their court to be used by their students, Allahyarham TSJ then wrote to the Commandant of Sikamat Army Camp (about 3 km from SDAR) for SDAR to use the Sikamat Camp basketball court. Zamri and me always tell Redwings, in those days our stamina were solid because before commencing our training, we have to assemble in a team and jogged to the Sikamat Camp while a very highly disciplined Mr Robert Lane, our 2nd Coach, cycled his racing bicycle from back to supervise us, same thing we have to jog back to SDAR after we finished our training.
Story No. 3:
This story (or perhaps secret) was told to me by Allahyarham TSJ (during a visit by my family and I when TSJ was warded at Serdang Hospital during 2012 Hari Raya Puasa). After Mr Robert Lane finished his short stay at SDAR, he met TSJ because he was ready to go off to a rural school. But TSJ, being very passionate about SDAR basketball development, made a personal official request and met the State CEO (Chief Education Officer) to have Mr Robert Lane to stay put and teach Chemistry in SDAR. Alhamdullilah TSJ’s request was granted, tentulah hebat TSJ mengayat-ayatkan reasons for Robert Lane to stay at SDAR. When TSJ called Robert Lane to his office telling him that the Ministry wanted him to stay at SDAR, he initially refused because he really wanted to get the experience and exposure to teach at a rural (kampong) school. After TSJ consolation, finally Robert Lane agreed to continue, and I am sure all this must be TSJ’s passion about SDAR Basketball. Let me tell you all, Robert lane was the best Coach SDAR ever had that in Legend year of 1973 SDAR became the Negri Sembilan School Basketball Champion beating all powerful Chinese schools. I better stop now, my tears are wetting my face. Semoga Allah mencucuri Rahmat kpd Allahyarham Tuan Syed Jaafar Al-Idrus dan ditempat Arwah bersama2 org yg soleh. Amin.
Al-Fatihah & Wassallam drpd Ramly Khairuddin.