By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
FOR the second consecutive year, Terrance “Redeye” McSweeney is all set to hold his Diamond Basketball Development Programme’s annual Easter Break Basketball Development Training Camp.
Scheduled for Tuesday to Saturday (March 29 to April 2) at the Tom ‘The Bird’ Grant Sporting Complex next to the AF Adderley Junior High School, the camp is free of charge for girls between the ages of eight and 16 years.
“Diamond Basketball Development was established back in 1995 when I was at Temple Christian High School where I started the senior girls’ basketball programme there and then I came back down and started the junior girls’ programme,” McSweeney said.
“I noticed during that first year at Temple Christian that a lot of the schools in the BAISS (Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools) needed help because while we were getting the blow out victories, it was not good in a sense that there was a lack of attention on the female players in our country.”
That prompted McSweeney to expand the Diamond Basketball Development Programme to a Saturday training session to Sunday as well for a couple of players who were Seventh-Day Adventists.
Through the programme, McSweeney said he has seen a number of the female players who have gone on to secure athletic and academic scholarships to colleges and universities in the United States and have returned home to gain employment in the community.
“This year being the second year for the Diamond Basketball Development Easter Break Camp, we will continue to focus on the development of the female basketball players who are interested in learning the fundamentals of the game,” McSweeney said.
“The programme is very slow. You will know that you are actually learning because for the week, I will be teaching them how to do the cross-over dribble, the dribble through the legs and dribbling behind the back. I will challenge the players to better themselves.”
It’s slightly different from the boys, who find themselves patterning their games after players they emulate. McSweeney said the girls require more personal attention because they can be easily distracted with any and everything that is not pertaining to basketball.
He’s calling it a March Madness camp as it’s being held around the time that the NCAA is holding their national basketball championships in the United States.
During the camp, McSweeney said the girls would go through a 30-45 minute drill, they will have a pep talk where they explain the basic skills they have learnt and they also have a classroom setting where they go through the rules and the regulations of the game.
McSweeney, who just completed his second year as a coach at Jordan Prince Williams, said he expects to have a number of his Lady Falcons players in attendance as they start their preparation for the upcoming BAISS season.
“In my first year, we lost one game during the regular season and lost to St Augustine’s College in the championship. The second year, I challenged the girls, but I should have challenged them a bit more,” McSweeney said.
“We went 11-0, but when we got back to the championship, we came flat footed against SAC and they were ready to play. They beat us by two points in the finals. This year, we are going to step it up some more. We will start our off-season training the week after this camp, but we want to encourage all players to come out.”
While invitations have been sent out to all of the schools to send their players to develop their game, McSweeney said he just wants to provide an avenue to assist them before they come back to school and participate in their particular programmmes.
For those parents/guardians who wish to drop off their daughters between 7-8am, McSweeney is asking them to contact him at 456-1477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org the day before to make the necessary arrangement. Otherwise, he will be there every morning from 8:30am and the programme will start promptly at 9am.
The Diamond Basketball Development Programme has been named after McSweeney’s daughter, Tamara, whose nickname was “Diamond.”