August 17, 2010
All-star athletes delighted with US trip

The six Vincentian athletes who recently took part in a two-week Basketball camp in Orlando, Florida, are now back home and have expressed great delight in the experience.{{more}}

The five boys and one girl, who made the trip as part of the Adonal Foyle’s All-Star Student Athletes (ASA) initiative, were Jemmile France, Bequia; Zanif Sandy, Canouan; Nemiah Alexander, Mayreau; Consolo Adams, Barrouallie; Leandru Edwards, Calliaqua; and Azizah Stowe,Union Island.

The young basketballers spent the first week at the Youth Basketball of America’s International Basketball Camp. During the second week, they were assigned to various educational, health and cultural programmes including academic assessments, etiquette lessons, and medical checkups.

France told SEACHLIGHT that he thoroughly enjoyed both the athletics and the academic sessions.

A pointguard with the Wizards in the Bequia Basketball Tournament, France said: “We learnt new stuff every day.”

Meanwhile, Sandy said: “It was [a] good experience, especially the way the camp was handled.

“It was a cultural experience for me, to be among persons from different countries, Mexico, Antigua and so on,” Sandy added.

Sandy, who has aspirations of one day becoming an NBA player and whose current basketball idol is Dwight Howard, said he is still relishing the trip and is looking forward to further honing his skills.

Expressing similar sentiments was Barrouallie resident, Adams.

He said: “It was good, we went to different places, amusement parks, museums, and on the camp, we learnt how to screen to get a better shot, passing, ball handling, [and] dribbling.”

Adams, a fan of NBA player Lebron James, is very appreciative of the opportunity as it was his first time flying on an aeroplane and the first time leaving his homeland.

The lone female, Stowe, a fourth form student of the Union Island Secondary School, also believes that the experience was worthwhile, as she continues to pursue her dreams of playing in the WNBA.

The six, whose ages range from 14 to 16, were selected by their coaches from previous Athletics and Academics Island Camps Basketball programmes held here by Foyle.

The two chaperones, Michael Penniston of Bequia and Owen Isaacs of Mayreau, also gave their views on the two week outing. Penniston said he thought it was better than the camps normally held here, as it was an entirely different experience for the young basketballers.

Isaacs, on the other hand, was bursting with satisfaction about the opportunity afforded to them.

He said that since his sojourn, he has started his own coaching programme for young basketballers on Mayreau, based on things he learned from the camp.

Isaacs confirmed that they were all treated well, with the six students being the recipients of numerous gifts, including footwear with their names inscribed on them as well as other Nike products.

He said the six will soon be receiving laptop computers to assist them in their academic development.

The ASA programme is designed to turn promising young basketball players into successful student-athletes and provide future opportunities for scholarships to help pave the way to their individual success. (RT)