The Junior NBA/Junior WNBA program celebrated their ninth year of the program by going back to where it all started: the Don Bosco College gymnasium.
Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches, and parents. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youths in 32 countries.
“Exciting. The last time we’re here in Don Bosco was during our first Jr. NBA nine years ago,” NBA Philippines managing director Carlo Singson said about their return to Don Bosco. “It’s a great venue for us. The number of coach in attendance earlier was top two, top three.”
“The kids are super excited. This is the biggest program we are doing yet. We hope to smash all records in terms of participation and reach.”
The first day of the ninth edition of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program was a day filled with joy for the attendees, with the kids going through with the clinic while members of the Atlanta Hawks entertainment provided the amusement for everyone in attendance. Earlier in the day, local coaches were also introduced to the Jr. NBA coaching clinic headed by Craig Brown and Chris Summer. They were also introduced to the “Train the Trainers” program that will help in spreading the advocacy of the program.
“We are going to new places and continue to build the program. What’s new is the Train the Trainers program,” Singson shared. According to Singson, this will help expand the program to record levels, as the program will reach the far ends of the country.
Moreover, the new program will also help increase the number of coaches for the Jr. NBA. “The Train the Trainers program allows us to increase the number of coaches that we have to run Jr. NBA. With them, a lot of them are provincial-based, so they go back to their communities and spread the program,” Singson closed.
Alaska Milk Corporation marketing director Blen Fernando also added that they are taking a more holistic approach to the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program this year. “This clinic doesn’t focus on basketball but it’s also about being able to share how we can build good diet as well,” she said. “We need to also promote a healthy and active lifestyle so that we can become champions, not only as individuals, but eventually our whole nation.”
The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska is comprised of four stages: skills clinics in schools and communities, Regional Selection Camps, a National Training Camp, and an NBA experience trip. The skills clinics will be held nationwide from January through April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila, and Puerto Princesa, and first-time locations in Batangas, Catanduanes, and Cavite. Select players from these clinics will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in tryouts during the Regional Selection Camps, which will be held in Baguio (February 20-21), Davao (February 27-28), Cebu (March 5-6), and Metro Manila (April 9-10). The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps will advance to the National Training Camp in Manila April 22-24.
In addition to the player camps and clinics, the search for the 2016 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year will begin on Jan. 22 in Manila, which will be led by Jr. NBA Head Coaches Craig Brown and Chris Sumner along with Alaska Power Camp Coach Jeff Cariaso. Ten Jr. NBA and four Jr. WNBA coaches will be selected as finalists and trained at the National Training Camp.