A report late on Friday night announced that Jad el-Hajj, coach of the Lebanese national basketball team and La Sagesse, will be leaving Lebanon this summer to exercise his coaching talents in Bahrain.

Starting next season, el-Hajj will coach the Bahrain national team and the local Al-Muharraq team. It was also reported that the Lebanese coach would receive a salary of around $300,000 to coach the national team.

Despite an excellent season with La Sagesse and an impressive run with the Lebanese basketball team, el-Hajj’s departure remains a shock to most fans, who did not expect him to leave both teams simultaneously.

Jad el-Hajj is now one of many Lebanese coaches to have left Lebanon, including Ghassan Sarkis who is now in Iraq, Fouad Abou Chacra who is currently coaching in Libya, and Marwan Khalil in Syria.

It is always regrettable to see so many of these talented Lebanese coaches leave Lebanon to train elsewhere, the money they receive being a major factor in their departure.

Hopefully, in the years to come, supportive policies can be implemented to prevent some Lebanese talent from leaving the country, to ensure that Lebanon remains at the top of regional basketball.