Coach impressed with turnout
While coach Craig Brown was happy with the kids who came out in droves to showcase their skills in the two-day 2016 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Regional Selection Camp at the Don Bosco Technology Center gym, he was equally impressed with the performance of the Cebuano coaches who volunteered their time to help out in the different skills stations.
These included former pro Lawrence “Tata” Merced, current coaches Jaymar Canoy, Jed Cabellon, Jayzar Esperat, Calib Gawangon and Hermes Sumalinog, among many others.
“I like to say that the coaches are doing an outstanding job. The coaches that are volunteering, the energy that they’re bringing, their passion, I think is really helping to motivate the kids to go through these stations,” said Brown in an exclusive talk with Cebu Daily News.
Brown, a former collegiate great at the University of Florida in the NCAA, was in town to oversee the regional selection camp, which is looking for the best basketball players of both sexes aged 10-14 years old to qualify to the next level of this prestigious grassroots basketball development program.
“The kids have come out and played with a lot of energy. I think their skill set is pretty good,” he said.
Brown, who made a name for himself in the University of Florida’s athletic history when he skippered the 1993-94 Gator squad that went 29-8 and advanced to the Final Four for the first time in the school’s history, emphasized the importance of still having fun with the game especially for these up-and-coming kids.
“Most importantly, have fun when you play the game. That’s what brought you to the game, have fun all the way through. If you want to get better, practice. Invest time in practicing and trust and believe in yourself. Self-confidence is key,” Brown shared.
After two days of the camp, the best of the best will be selected to join the National Training Camp on April 22-24 in Manila.
An NBA and WNBA player or legend will be in Manila at the National Training Camp to help train and inspire the finalists. The program will select 10 Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars who will travel on an overseas NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia. Past Jr. NBA
All-Stars traveled to San Francisco, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Shenzhen.
Several Cebuanos have excelled at this level. The list includes current National University guard Rendell Senining, current University of San Jose-Recoletos guard Arc Gabrielle Araw-Araw and Adamson big man Dawn Ochea.
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