By Neto Baptiste
Young basketball players between the ages of 12 and 25 will be given an opportunity to impress at least two US-based coaches during a three-day Exposure Camp put on by Wadadli Elite Basketball from June 24-26 at the JSC complex.
Jonathan Weekes, a high school coach in New York and a professional basketball player agent, along with Jermelle Fraser who coaches college basketball in New York, will conduct the high-intensity camp as they embark on the search for unique talent.
Fraser said players from the Caribbean often bring a special type of energy.
“When you talk about players that are from the Caribbean islands, the first thing that stands out, or that most people have, is what’s called ‘a high motor’, and that’s the player that never stops working. That’s the player who dives on the floor for loose balls, rebounds the ball, plays defence at a higher level, so I think initially I’ll be looking for players that have ‘a high motor’, who really work hard,” he said.
The camp, which will cater for both male and female players, is designed to attract 50 to 60 players and will run from 5pm to 9pm on all three days.
Weekes said players must display a high level of understanding for the game.
“I’ll be looking at a high IQ on the court and how they interact with each other, because basketball is a team sport, even though the NBA portrays it as a superstar league. But we are not dealing with the NBA, we are dealing with an amateur basketball come-up. It’s a team game and how you get along with your teammates, how you move the ball and how kids respond to adversity; that’s [some of the] things I’ll be looking for,” he said.
The 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.
“That, of course, will come with the training, the professional development of their game, videotaping of the games and the training sessions. We are going to feed them, we are going to give them jerseys, and we are going to have them in our database, so if anything comes up in the near future, we have them there already because the purpose is to give young kids an opportunity. Also, there are some guys in Antigua that I think can play professional basketball,” he said.
The organisers will host a basketball extravaganza on the final day of the camp which will feature dunk contests and other skill challenges.