Last January 14th, the Jr. NBA presented by Alaska welcomed hundreds of kids at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati for this year’s first open clinic. A team of elite coaches met the talented kids, as they received a first-hand glance at what the country’s largest ongoing basketball camp had in store for 2018.
In just a few weeks, a projected 250,000 aspirants and 900 coaches from across the Philippines will try out their hands in becoming the next cast of All-Stars through the regional selection camp. The participants will undergo a series of basketball programs, which aim to equip them with the S.T.A.R. values which stand for sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude, and most importantly – respect.
Besides providing kids with the right basketball tools, the RSC will be the ground for these young athletes to move up to the National Training Camp. There, training intensifies, as coaches will keep an eye open as they search for their future All-Star cast.
According to Christian Luanzon, who is one of the Jr. NBA’s longtime mentors and coaches, “This year will be a lot different.” With the addition of Portuguese basketball coach Carlos Barroca to lead the pool of coaches, there’s going to be more energy and enthusiasm passed on to the kids.
“We want kids to have the time of their lives here at the Jr. NBA experience. More than basketball, we want these kids to take home the S.T.A.R. values that will help them succeed,” Luanzon says. What separates the Jr. NBA, says Luanzon, is that kids will get to have a one-of-a-kind experience while elevating their games.
For coach Ruben Lanot, the regional selection camp is going to show that the Jr. NBA’s innovation in terms of basketball drills will pay off. The team has developed new and improved ways to engage with their students.
“The most important thing is that these kids have fun. Yes, we value talent and skills but this year what we’re enforcing is for them to have fun. When the kids and coaches are smiling and enjoying, it makes it easier to learn,” says Lanot.
At the end of the day, says Lanot, the game of basketball is about going back to the basics and building a solid hoop foundation, and that’s what the Jr. NBA is all about. When all is said and done, the basketball careers of these kids have the potential to skyrocket through their lessons from the Jr. NBA.
The Jr. NBA Regional Selection Camp will take place during the following dates:
February 10-11: RSC Visayas – Trinity Christian School, Bacolod
February 24 – 25: RSC Mindanao – Father Saturnino Urios University, Butuan
March 17-18: RSC Luzon – Benguet State University, Baguio
April 21-22: RSC Manila – Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati
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