JR. NBA reigniting kids interest in basketball

Subscribe Now February 08, 2013 at 03:11pm

Zane Garfin plays soccer. Brylle Juris Carillo plays tennis. James Paolo Ancheta on the other hand, used to be a Taekwondo champion. These kids and a hundred others more are into various sports but they gathered at the Ateneo de Davao Grade School Gym on February 3, 2013 to participate in the Jr. NBA Philippines Basketball Camp, a basketball program spearheaded by Alaska and brought to Davao City by Phoenix Petroleum. “Davao breaks history by gathering the most number of participants at 485 in the morning session and almost 500 in the afternoon session or a total of 985 players,” the Jr. NBA Secretariat said.

This is the sixth consecutive year for the Jr. NBA Program in the Philippines but this year, it was made more extensive as it went from Manila to Davao City, Lucena City and Dagupan City, reaching more than 400 schools all over the country.

“The largest group we had so far was in Dagupan last week with 416 students in a single session but this was bested by Davao with 480,” the Secretariat said.

What made the Jr. NBA more exciting was the presence of Jojo Lastimosa and of course, Coach Sefu Bernard who is NBA Asia’s Director of Basketball Operations.

“For today we are training players between the ages of 10 and 14 who will have the chance to join the Regional Camp on March 9 and 10,” Lastimosa said while shifting between moderating the basketball coaches and the players and accommodating fans who wanted to have their photos taken with him.

Lastimosa was happy with the enthusiasm showed by the young players in basketball whcih goes to show that “basketball is still a favorite among the Filipinos no matter what age you may be.”

“This court is going to be out playground for the next two hours,” Sefu Bernard told the players while encouraging them to stretch their limits both physically and mentally.

Bernard trained basketball coaches the day before the Basketball Camp and these same coaches were the ones who helped him in training the players for the day.

While he taught the players various basketball moves including ways to handle the ball and retaining their balance, there was one thing that Bernard showed the players---discipline.

“I am no longer surprised that Davao has turned out so many aspiring basketball players—these kids are very enthusiastic about learning,” Lastimosa said. He added that the most promising players will be invited to join the mini-camp the next day where more advanced basketball drills will be made.

Lastimosa said they will get up to ten representatives from each of the areas where the Camps were held, 25 from Greater Manila, with a total of up to 40 players who will get the chance to join the Jr. NBA National Training Camp in Manila.

While not all of the almost 1,000 children who joined last week’s Jr. NBA Basketball Camp will get the chance to join the more rigid and advanced training in Manila, all of them will however carry the pride of being given the opportunity to be trained by Bernard and Lastimosa, and of joining one of the most prestigious basketball camps in the country.

Their parents will also agree that encouraging their children to indulge in sports like basketball will not only keep them physically fit, but mentally and socially smart as well.

Source: pia.gov.ph

« Leptospirosis cases rise in Davao Davao Celebrates Chinese New Year »