Four BVIslanders Earn Top Spots In NBA Regional Camp

Source: BVI News and BVI Platinum

Demoi Bradley, Shaliquah Fahie, Mahkayla Pickering and Omar Walker Photo: BVI Platinum News

Demoi Bradley, Shaliquah Fahie, Mahkayla Pickering and Omar Walker
Photo: BVI Platinum News

Four basketball players from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have made the list of 13 youngsters from the Caribbean and Bermuda who will participate in what is being called an authentic National Basketball Association (NBA) experience, which will be held from December 6 to 10 this year in the United States.

A total 63 players were vying for the qualifying spots.

The four qualifiers from the BVI are Omar Walker who was also adjudged the Boy Free Throw Champion, Mahkayla Pickering who also emerged the 3-Point Champion (Girls), as well as Demoi Bradley and Shaliquah Fahie.

There are also four qualifiers from Bermuda – Kobie Reid, Caelin Peters, Ish-Nae Smith, and Jorel Smith.

Barbados, which was declared the Team Shooting Champion, has two qualifiers. They are Ivanna Odle and Tower Lorde.

Remy Brewer is the only person from Trinidad and Tobago who qualified for the NBA experience.

Turks and Caicos Islands had one qualifier – Wilkins Sylvain.

The only other country that made the qualifying marks is Antigua, which is being represented by Anthony Greer.

Meanwhile, although some of the youngsters were not selected among the top 13, they received special awards.

Those include the Sportsmanship Awards, which went to Joshua Lowe, as well as Shernaria Morris. The Boys 3-Point Champion is Lincoln Weeks, while Siyaunne Hall emerged the Girls Free Throw Champion.

The competition for the top 13 spots was held through an initiative dubbed Digicel NBA Jumpstart Elite Camp, held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in the BVI from October 7 to 9.

The Elite Camp featured the top 63 players – 45 boys and 18 girls – from the Digicel NBA Jumpstart Clinics held in nine Caribbean countries this fall.

That leg of the programme – which is now in its second year – took place in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Turks and Caicos Islands.

The young players were picked from those countries to attend the final selection exercise in the BVI, where the group of 63 was narrowed to 13 by Digicel and the NBA.

The coaches at the camp in the BVI were seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry, 1977 NBA Champion and former NBA head coach Lionel Hollins, as well as two-time WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins.


Digicel/NBA Jump Start Basketball Programme underway in BVI


BVI youngsters go through drills at the Digicel/NBA Jump Start Basketball Programme at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on August 25, 2015. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO

BVI youngsters go through drills at the Digicel/NBA Jump Start Basketball Programme at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on August 25, 2015. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO

Digicel and the National Basketball Association (NBA) joined forces on Tuesday August 25, 2015 to launch the Jump Start Basketball Programme that will be giving 40 boys from Tortola and Virgin Gorda a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their talent and gain selection to an elite training camp in Trinidad and Tobago.

The clinic at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex is the first of six such events, all of which are aimed at 14-16 year olds and all of which will see five participants selected to represent their country at the five-day elite camp, from which the top eight players will be chosen by an NBA Legend, as well the coaches, to attend an NBA game in the USA.

The coaches who are here for the camp, Troy Justice and Robert Mackinnon, have extensive global experience within the NBA Organisation.

The coaches launched the clinic yesterday with an intensive warm up, including ball work, shooting and dribbling drills, that got the boys more than ready for a series of five versus five games that concluded the first day.

“It is an exciting opportunity for us as coaches to work with these 40 boys and I would like to thank Digicel and the NBA for making these clinics possible and for their support in growing the game of basketball,” commented Justice. “We are also implementing a programme that is just not for two days, but what we are providing is something that coaches and players can use throughout the year.”

Justice also stressed that the clinics were more than just about playing the game, but would also reinforce the importance of the values of the game such as sportsmanship, teamwork, discipline and work ethics. “These values that will impact you on the court will impact you in your life moving forward, so take the opportunity to learn as much as you can.”

Digicel Brand and Basketball Ambassador, Jason A. Edwin has spent the past month working with the BVI Basketball Federation to select the best 40 players. “The boys were selected on skills, passion for the game and drive to succeed and I’m confidant each of them will represent to the highest standard possible,” Edwin stated.

Tommy Farrell, Commercial and Finance Director for Digicel (BVI), was on hand during the day and expressed delight that the VI had been chosen as the first location for the Jump Start clinics.

“It is testament to the level of skill, ability and passion for basketball that exists in the territory,” said Farrell. “Already the coaches have mentioned that they have been very impressed with what they have seen and suggested a few of them have already shown they are worthy of scholarships. We are certain, that as these boys are coached and mentored by the elite NBA coaches, that this clinic will develop their skills, take their game to the next level and that the benefits of the clinics will reach far beyond these 40 boys, and the learnings of both players and coaches will live on for a long time to come.”

Not done with a hectic day of coaching, Justice and Mackinnon finished with an hour long session with the students of the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre and after much excitement and no little talent; each boy was awarded NBA shirts and caps, along with a Digicel back pack.

The clinic concludes today, August 26, 2015 and those five selected to go to Trinidad will be announced at a closing ceremony.

The clinics will then move on to Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos, with the five-day camp in Trinidad and Tobago scheduled for September 23-28, 2015.