During my grade school years, when I was 10-11 years old, I remember doing well in academics but being zero in sports. I was not engaged in any sports at all. I grew up knowing that I’m not an athletic person, just a typical bookworm who was afraid of being hit by a ball. That’s why I felt so envious to our kids today. As early as 10 or even younger, they have now free access to sports clinics, workshops and various sports training, just like the recently concluded JrNBA Regional Selection Camp in Baguio, last February 20-21.
The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of Alaska Milk’s programs that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life. It is free and open to boys and girls ages 10 to 14 years old (born 2002 to 2006).
I started my active lifestyle during my early 20’s while kids today can start as early as they can run around anywhere. (How is that even fair? lol) Opportunities today are better and bigger. (Or maybe I was just not exposed to sports before?) Thanks to the people and companies who know that any kind of sports is good training ground for kids in becoming stronger and better individual.
I was invited to cover the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska in Baguio for their Regional Selection Camp. There, I saw hundreds of kids, (655 to be exact) who fall in line early in the morning for a shot of free basketball training and being selected to be part of the Jr. NBA All-Stars Team who will compete internationally. Last year, the team went to China to compete and watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzhen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the L.A. Clippers.
The kids underwent different skill tests: dribbling, shooting, footwork, push-ups, among others. The top scorers will move on a “Scrimmage” where they will participate in friendly basketball game among each other while the coaches are carefully scrutinizing their game plays that must exemplify the STAR Values (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect.)
Among the 655 participants, six boys and two girls topped the Regional Camp. They are: Zyrus de Ayre, Ric Ozner Joshua Gatuz, Vincent Mabiwo, Emmanuel James Macaranas, Sergz Quitaleg, and Wrench Mason Roquid, Katreena Areola and Rae Jemima Caba. They will move on to the National Selection Camp, to be held in Manila on April 22-24.
The best part of my experience is seeing kids who at an early age know what their passion is already. Even though most of them didn’t make it to the National Training Camp, their smiles showed that they enjoyed and loved what they did and that matters most for me. When you know what your passion is and what makes you happy, you are good at life.
For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska please visit http://www.jrnba.asia/philippines, http://www.alaskamilk.com, and http://www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball. For live updates log on to www.playph.com follow us on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.