Local pupils learn valuable life lessons from basketball legends at Jr NBA Day clinic
PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 January 2019
Lucky students from Tower Hamlets were graced by legends for a once-in-a-lifetime coaching experience just hours before the NBL London game at the O2 Arena.
Four boys from Bow School were part of a group of 40 children who spent the morning working with NBA stars and coaches at a Jr. NBA Day clinic at CitySport in Clerkenwell.
The event was staged as part of the activities relating to the 2019 NBA London Game between the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks, providing another fantastic opportunity for Jr. NBA participants to enjoy incredible experiences through basketball.
Three-time NBA champion Bruce Bowen, 1978 champion Phil Chenier, Wizards legend Gheorghe Muresan – the tallest player ever to play in the NBA – and John Amaechi, a Brit who played in the NBA for three different teams between 1995-2003, were among the stars coaching.
Jephte Amani-Kahozi, 11, said: “It’s inspired me to keep doing better when I play the sport. I was excited to come here but didn’t expect to see so many good professional players.
“The tips helped my skills with things like pivoting and lay-ups. They are all skills you need when playing matches. It’s a good way to learn to improve them.
“Having the Jr. NBA clinic here in London is a great opportunity to learn from them and make us all better players.”
Other stars helping out included 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, her Washington Mystics teammate Natasha Cloud and coach Mike Thibault, who has the most wins of any women’s coach in the sport.
All athletes completed a Q&A session with the children before posing for photos and signing autographs.
Tarryn Algar, teacher and basketball coach at Bow School, added: “Basketball builds their work ethic. It just disciplines you in so many areas – timekeeping and just being a good teammate.
“I tell the kids everything you do on the basketball court transfers to real life. There’s lots of lessons for them to learn. The kids were over the moon to be invited.
“It gives them an early insight to a professional set-up and how it’s run. This gave them a chance to see what being a professional is about. Their confidence can shoot through the roof by being there and seeing the vision of where they could be.
“The clinics are going the extra mile to help players. They could come and go home but they’re investing in our next generation of players and giving something back.”
*To find out more about Basketball England the Jr. NBA programme, please go to www.Basketballengland.co.uk/Jrnba.