Senior Sports Reporter
SHE would have been here assisting Jurelle Nairn with the staging of the seventh edition of the Ballin’ By Da Beach Girls’ Basketball Camp. But after it was cancelled, coach Charisse Mapp decided to make use of her time in the Bahamas.
The head coach of the girls’ varsity basketball team at Charlotte Latin in North Carolina spent the weekend helping out coaches Pattie Johnson and Sharelle Cash with their respective basketball programmes.
This is the ninth time for Mapp visiting the Bahamas and every time she comes, she said she tries to share as much of her expertise to both the coaches and the players.
“It’s really a blessing for me to be here,” she said. “I will continue to come and make a contribution as well as they will have me. I just enjoy myself every time that I come.”
Mapp, a former player for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was coaching at Salisbury University where she first met Nairn, who served as her assistant coach. When Nairn decided to start theBallin’ By Da Beach Camp, the first person she turned to for assistance was Mapp.
That was eight years ago and even though the camp was cancelled this year because of the lack of a facility to use, Mapp said she had already booked her trip here so she still came to work with the local programmes.
“There’s a lot of potential here. Every time you turn around, there is another kid who has the potential to do something big,” Mapp said. “To have the opportunity to teach the game, to show and give lessons in life that they will use for the rest of their lives, is something that I would like to impart with the youngsters here.”
Johnson noted that after meeting Map, Ballin’ By Da Beach, their relationship grew.
“I saw what she was doing as the head coach of the camp and I was very impressed,” Johnson said. “I watched her as she helped out the women’s national basketball team and she has been by my school and has done several sessions with my kids.”
Johnson said she intends to utilise the services of Mapp this week when she continues her off season training sessions at the HO Nash Junior High School.
At the DW Davis Gymnasium, Mapp assisted Cash with her developmental programme that she conducts on Saturday mornings.
“It’s always a good thing when you can have somebody come from the outside and help us to help the kids here in their development,” Cash said. “We don’t have many people who come in and help our young girls, so whenever we do, we need to take advantage of it.”
Cash, a former junior national team coach who works primarily with the Temple Christian Academy girls’ basketball teams, said she was disappointed to hear that the Ballin’ By Da Beach was cancelled this year.
“Hopefully it will come back on stream next year,” she said. “When you don’t have a programme in place, the girls end up finding something else to do so that they don’t be too idle.
“So I’m hoping that the Ballin’ By Da Beach returns next year because it’s a positive event to keep our young girls active.
“But since they didn’t have the camp, I’m glad that coach Mapp can still find something to do to help our programme here.”
Ballin’ By Da Beach Girls Basketball Camp is the brainchild of Nairn, a former national team basketball player turned coach. In addition to serving as an assistant at Salisbury University, Nairn coached the Queen’s College Comets and was an assistant on the women’s national basketball team.