Khalu steps down as BFPNG boss, returns to Australia for family reasons


Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) chief executive Joel Khalu has resigned from his role and returned to Australia on Friday.
The 36-year-old cited family reasons for his resignation and will head back to Cairns to be with his father Paul, who is fighting cancer.
“It is with sadness that I step aside from my role as chief executive officer of BFPNG at this time,” Khalu said.
“However, being with my family is my absolute priority and especially helping my dad as he faces this battle.”
BFPNG president Nick Daroa thanked Khalu for his service to the sport.
“JK (Khalu) has been an integral part of BFPNG and we thank him for his commitment to helping grow basketball in this country,” Daroa said.
“It will be disappointing to see him leave but the board members strongly support his decision to be with his family at this very difficult time.
“We wish him, his dad and his family all the very best and will have them in our thoughts and prayers.”
FIBA Oceania executive director David Crocker reiterated Daroa’s sentiments.
“The BFPNG has flourished under Khalu and the current leadership.  They have built a foundation for the continued growth of basketball in Papua New Guinea,”Crocker said.
“At FIBA, we look forward to continuing our support as the BFPNG builds from this foundation for years to come.
“I would personally like to thank Khalu for his service to basketball not only in Papua New Guinea but throughout our region. We wish him and his family all the best during this difficult time.”
Khalu commenced work as chief executive officer BFPNG in March last year and said he was proud of the achievements made by everybody involved with the sport throughout his tenure.
“The last 19 months have been a great journey,” Khalu said.
“I’m grateful to everybody who has encouraged and supported me throughout that time and have no doubt that successful things will continue to happen with PNG hoops following my departure.”
Khalu hasn’t ruled out a return to coach the Pepsi PNG men’s national basketball team down the track.
“Coaching the guys again is certainly something I’ll consider when the time arrives,” he said.
“After the recent FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup gold medal success, it would be hard to just walk away completely but being there wiyh my family is priority at this time.”

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