There must be balance: US-based basketball coach says academics is just as important as athletics

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Wadadli Elite basketball club, headed by Byron Andrew (center), will host a three-day Exposure Camp this weekend.
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By Neto Baptiste

Jonathan Weekes, a high school coach in New York, USA and a professional basketball player agent, is reminding student-athletes and their coaches here in Antigua and across the Caribbean that having good grades is equally important as excelling on the court.

His reminder comes ahead of this weekend’s three-day Exposure Camp to be put on by Wadadli Elite Basketball from June 24-26 at the JSC complex.

“We need to be able to balance basketball and academics, and that is the major factor I have seen over the years of recruiting kids to whether it be an American college or high school or to a European academy. I think that in the Caribbean, we don’t understand the balance of sports with academics could be clashing with personal life as well. I think what Byron is trying to do in terms of Antigua is trying to create that concept of balance and once you understand balance in terms of basketball, personal life and academics you would see the best of our kids coming up, and every generation will improve,” he said.

The camp, which will cater for both boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 25, will run from 5 to 9pm daily and will cater for between 50 to 60 players hoping to gain educational opportunities through scholarships.

Also offering advice to young players ahead of the camp was Jermelle Fraser who coaches college basketball in New York.

Fraser warned that there is no instant formula for getting to the pinnacle of professional basketball.

“Today’s players, this generation, they want that instant recognition, they want everything fast and they want everything to happen quickly but they need to understand that it’s a process. It’s a long process to become a really good rounded basketball player and the drills that we have in place and the coaches we are going to have in place, players will get to see and understand what it truly takes to become what’s called being fundamentally sound or to have the basic skills so the dribbling, the passing, shooting are the basic skills in basketball that you need,” the coach said.  This weekend’s initiative carries a $300 registration fee per player and according to head of Wadadli Elite Basketball, Byron Andrew, players will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

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