Country Boasts Four Selections at NBA Jumpstart Camp

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Antigua and Barbuda had much to celebrate over the weekend as four of the six youth basketballers were selected for the final leg of the Digicel NBA Jumpstart program where they will travel to the U.S. for an unforgettable NBA experience.
Jevonte Valerie of St. Anthony’s Secondary (SASS), Jahliesia Knowles of All Saints Secondary School (ASSS), Nia Coates – Christ the King High School (CKHS) and Jamie Charles of the Seventh-day Adventist Secondary (SDAS) will join the 10 other elites later this year after being chosen at the camp held in Trinidad and Tobago.
The historic bunch also boasted the first Barbudan and first two females to be chosen for the final leg as Anthony Greer Jr., former student of the Antigua Grammar School (AGS), was the lone local player to be chosen.
Charles spoke briefly with OBSERVER media about his historic achievement.
“I am very excited to be chosen as the first Barbudan to make it all the way, and I can’t wait to play and meet players from the NBA. When I went to the camp first, Coach Troy told us to stop saying negative things about ourselves and start saying a lot of positive things and believe that we can do it and that helped me a lot.
“I have to thank God first of all for all his blessings and all the coaches that were at the camp, my coaches here, both in school and club league and just thank the Digicel team for this chance.”
Knowles, who is one of two female players to be selected, also gave her feedback on the selection and the camp itself.
“I am really excited about this opportunity because I know our country hasn’t been so up in basketball and I have a chance to bring out basketball and show the world what we have here.
“The camp was great, I learned a lot of new things like team-building skills, but I have to thank Digicel and the NBA for this program.”
School’s basketball coordinator, Carl “Bowlie” Knight, also chimed in by commending the players on  their accomplishment.
“Well I am extremely happy for our athletes. It shows the level of talent we have, not only in Antigua and Barbuda, but in the school’s program itself. We have players who have played at a very high level and so I am extremely happy, you know meeting them at the airport and seeing their faces.”
The former national player also congratulated the coaches for their input and called upon them to work together for the greater good of the sport.
“I have to thank the coaches in the school unit and also their personal club coaches, and once we put our heads together and work as one we can do a lot for the youths of Antigua and Barbuda.”
The program, which is in its fourth year, provides an unforgettable experience for 14 players (eight boys, and six girls) to visit the U.S.
Players from Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts, Haiti, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago took part in the event.

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