By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
As part of the Digicel NBA Jumpstart program, Brand Ambassador Jason Edwin is attending the 2016 NBA Americas Team Coaching Camp that runs through the weekend in Mexico City, Mexico.
“There will be NBA coaches and players working with U-17 male players, teaching them the fundamentals of the sport in terms of enhancing their skills and the basic things college and universities are looking for from them when they get to that stage,” Edwin explained of the camp after helping Legs to its fifth straight BVI Basketball Federation league championships on Sunday. “They have invited coaches and players from the region to help them get hands on experience at this camp.”
Edwin said he’s excited about the opportunity to work with players from outside the region and see what they are doing in their training on and off the court, so that he can return with that information to help youngsters in the BVI and enhance their game. His aim is to create programs for the youth, which he said will help them develop to be more competitive against players from elsewhere.
“This will help players across the board—male or female—as we try to target youngsters at the grass roots level, teaching them the fundamentals and not taking short cuts if you want to get better,” he said. “Having the program, preparing the necessary training regiments for male or female and it’s good to see that the girls are coming out in large numbers. If they stick with it, obviously, in the next few years, we’ll have a team that we can be proud of and representing us well.”
Edwin has been conducting a youth summer camp along with teammate Kennedy Bass and said they were overwhelmed with the number of youngsters interested in playing basketball.
“We learnt on the fly that there’s a growing number and their knowledge of the game is not where we though it would be,” he said. “But, obviously, a continuous effort from the community, in a few years, with the numbers we have, sticking with them and their development, we should see great basketball players.”
One challenge facing young BVI players is a lack of game time experience as compared with their peers elsewhere. Edwin said while that has been diagnosed, it’s now to prepare them and to get the camps, clinics, tournaments and exposure so that when the go abroad, nothing is foreign to them because they have been prepped and ready to do well.