THE game of basketball can positively redirect the path of a young boy or girl, unlocking countless opportunities while building camaraderie and strengthening physical fitness.
The pandemic forced families inside, prevented social interaction and caused major reductions in consistent exercise for young adults who happily opted for hours of mindless computer games and YouTube surfing.
Thankfully, The Bahamas Basketball Federation and Ballin’ By Da Beach camps offered a free camp during its annual Summer of Thunder two-week tournament, featuring several top Bahamian, NCAA, US and foreign national teams.
The 2022 Summer of Thunder Basketball Camp was held at Sir Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium August 5-6.
Children aged 5-18 learned basketball fundamentals from top-tier local and international coaches from She Hoops Elite and the Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team.
BBF secretary general Jurelle Nairn-Mullings, also president of the Ballin’ By Da Beach camps, said she was excited about this weekend’s camp and the partnerships.
“We are so excited to see the Summer of Thunder Basketball camp leverage the expertise of our high level international coaches at the Division One and semi-pro levels.
“Their willingness to give back and provide training to the future basketball players of The Bahamas is commendable. The two-day camp will allow our kids to again socialise, as we build sports tourism in the country.
“The Federation and Ballin’ By Da Beach camps are committed to national development and training of our young people, what better way to do this than through sports?,” expressed Nairn-Mullings.
Bahamian born Robyn Swaby, CEO of She Hoops Elite, and business partner Kiara Slaton formed the Bahamian owned business which inspires, impacts and motivates the next generation of athletes to pursue their dreams of playing basketball at a high level.
“We have a network of over 400 female athletes in South Florida whose backgrounds range from professional basketball players to trainers to coaches.
“We decided to partner with The Bahamas Basketball Federation to facilitate the Summer of Thunder Basketball Camp because this is one of our most valued platforms that we utilise to give back to our community.
“Our team is looking forward to meeting all of the campers and ensuring that everyone learns a new skill and has a great time at camp,” says Swaby.
Nairn-Mullings and Swaby, both former junior girls national basketball team players, are giving back as they too can appreciate the work of The Bahamas Basketball Federation helping them as athletes. “I can appreciate the work of the BBF because as a national team player, we were able to develop better techniques, strengthen our skills and travel due to the sacrifices of coaches and the Federation. As a result, paying it forward is something we both understand is a necessary thing to do,” said Nairn-Mullings.
EKU women’s basketball team from Richmond, Kentucky, also assisted with the camp which started on Friday, August 5, and ended noon Saturday at the Sir Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium.