Jameer Nelson has faith in Cayman Islands basketball.
The Orlando Magic point guard and captain made his first visit to the islands last week as part of Camana Bay’s fifth annual Orlando Magic Basketball Camp. Nelson, 31, said local players have the ability to be great.
“This is my first time in Cayman and it’s beautiful here,” Nelson said. “The water is great, the people are friendly and it’s great to be here. No matter who you are, if you work hard, you can be great.
“It’s not about athletics, it’s about discipline. Not everyone can be a professional athlete.”
The Pennsylvania native is a nine-year veteran, who the Denver Nuggets drafted in the first round in 2004. The 6-foot, 190-pound point guard was an NBA All-Star in 2009, the same year he made the NBA Finals with teammate Dwight Howard.
Nelson is the latest major name to come down for the camp. In the past, the likes of Vince Carter, Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw have made appearances in Grand Cayman.
The Magic camp took place at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre and attracted dozens of kids eager to learn the sport. Among them were Kemar Scott, Peter Grant and Kaseem Penn.
The youngsters, ages 7 to 17, were taught fundamental skills like shooting, passing and dribbling by youth coaches affiliated with the Magic. Billed as part of Cayman’s sports tourism product, the Magic camp also highlighted the importance of physical activity.