The hoops camp currently being held at the Cox Court off Eastern Avenue by the Department of Youth and Sports and Cayman Islands Basketball Association will no doubt make several children very happy.
Six participants, aged 13 to14, will be selected for a Youth Basketball of America (YBOA) tournament in Mexico this November, said national basketball coach, Victor O’Garro.
Another six players will be picked from the School Programme, which was run by Daniel Augustine.
The YBOA is an international governing body that promotes youth basketball worldwide. YBOA is a non-profit organisation based in Orlando, Florida. It offers league development, tournaments, uniforms, educational clinics, scholarship programmes, support materials, merchandise and insurance programmes.
This will be the first international tournament that the Cayman Island has attended since joining the YBOA in 2000. Cayman’s athletes, however, have attended other tournaments which have assisted in the development of national players, said Coach O’Garro.
‘I am so pleased that we are able to use this camp to pick and train a team for the tournament in Mexico. It is tournaments such as this that help to develop our sport,’ he said.
While the hoops camp has elements of fun, it is more concentrated and intense than the typical summer camps.
Campers begin their day with a motivational speech from either a member of the national team or Coach O’Garro, followed by warming up, drills and practice. The lectures not only focus on basketball, but on the total development of the athlete.
Collin Anglin, captain of the men’s national basketball team, told campers how sports helped him to develop as an athlete and as a person.
‘Sport is a vehicle to a better life. This can be achieved through a scholarship which leads to a better education,’ Anglin said.
‘Sport is one of the most equal situations a person will find. It is not who you know or how much money you have. It’s how you play the game, how much you put into your training and how much discipline and commitment an athlete has. It is not all about talent either, because without discipline, commitment, determination and passion, an athlete will not get anywhere,’ he said.
Anglin, who is also the Deputy Director of Sports, encouraged the youngsters to show respect for themselves and others on and off the court.