St. Kitts-Nevis tries to bring back basketball with two simultaneous camps

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BASSETERRE (St. Kitts) – The St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association (SKABA), in joint efforts with ROTO Basketball, is currently celebrating the fourteenth edition of their summer camps for children, youth and adults from the age of 6 to 25 in what is the continuation of their motto: “Reach one, teach one”.

The Association expects to welcome 100 participants from August 12 to 17 for their two sessions. The youngest participants will come in the morning to learn the fundamentals of the game.

The second session is focused on scouting teens and adults from St. Kitts to schools and colleges in the United States. According to Wendell Pemberton, President of ROTO Basketball and Vice-President of the Association, this is also an opportunity for players 18 to 25 to have the chance of playing overseas.

This is the fourteenth edition of the camps that will feature coaches and support staff from other countries, particularly the United States, said Pemberton to

“In the morning session, starting at 9:00 AM, we’ll stretch, warm-up, and exercise. Then we’ll have drills where we’ll teach the basics: passes, dribbles, and shots,” added Pemberton. “During some sessions, they’ll watch movies to teach them about teamwork and self-development.”

With this initiative, the Association continues their efforts to popularize basketball on the island, despite serious issues like lack of infrastructure and funds, as well as the lack of popularity of basketball in comparison to other sports.

“We’re trying to bring basketball back. Soccer is the number one sport right now and we’re facing some challenges in basketball because our facilities are not the best and we don’t have any indoor courts, so once the rain comes we can’t play. This is bad for the fans and for players as well,” said Pemberton.

The Association’s Vice-President assured that “the level is good, but many times what leaves us behind is the lack of funds because we can’t buy enough equipment. To organize these camps we need basketballs, rims, nets, and many times that’s the challenge.”

Pemberton, a former player that dedicates his life to coach teams from the mini to the adult levels said that throughout the years 12 participants — including 5 girls — have received scholarships because of these camps.

In St. Kitts, starting kids in sports as soon as possible — around six years of age — is one of the Association’s priorities, because sometimes they face the problem of starting to develop players that are reaching adulthood.

“The Association’s priority is to get more children involved, get them to like the sport, and try to develop them in it,” Pemberton assured. “Many of them watch television, watch the NBA and think they’re players, but if you ask them to do the basic things they can’t. So, we want to go back to basics and start to play at an early age instead of taking someone who’s 18 or 19 and is just starting to play.”

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