Filipino Kids Experience Training like the NBA
By Kevin Rebultan
Over three thousand kids experienced world class basketball in the recently concluded Jr. NBA Philippines open clinic, the first training session in a series of activities for 2019.
The two-day training, held from February 23 to 24, 2019, aimed to teach the fundamentals of the sport and the core values of the world’s premiere basketball league.
In an effort to promote the league as a platform for gender equality, the open clinic included both young boys and girls (Grade 7-10) from the Sisters of Mary Boystown and Girlstown in Silang, Cavite.
Presented by Alaska, with the guidance of its coaches, and Jr. NBA’s Natalia Dos Santos and Jeffrey Cariaso, the kids were provided with substantial skills development exercises to improve their basketball drills—such as the basics of shooting, passing, dribbling, defending, and conditioning among others.
Dos Santos, whose coaching style reinforces active lifestyle without compromising the kids’ inclination toward fun and enjoyment, believes that instilling positive values through basketball contributes to the children’s holistic growth.
“Through the Jr. NBA program, we empower children from varying backgrounds and help them fulfil their potential as young players and future leaders of society,” she says.
Aside from the practical lessons, Alaska and Gatorade also facilitated nutrition and hydration discussions, respectively, which are essential for the active players of the sport.
The NBA-like experience of the kids continues with an action-packed line up of activities; in addition to the open clinic, Jr. NBA Philippines will stage Regional Selection Camps in Lucena (March 9-10), Baguio (March 23-24), Dumaguete (March 30-31), Butuan (April 13-14), and Metro Manila (April 26-27) to advance the top 40 boys and 40 girls in the National Training Camp on May 17-19. As many as five boys and five girls from the National Training Camp will advance to the first Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Qualifiers, a week-long selection camp in June featuring top youth players from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
As a culminating event, the top performing 10 boys and 10 girls will represent Asia Pacificin the second Jr. NBA Global Championship held Aug. 6-11 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.