Candidates vetted for invite-only basketball camp


Sports Reporter


WITH the Bahamas’ first ever scouting basketball showcase of its kind for elite junior players on tap for this summer, the selection committee continues to thoroughly vet the candidates for this summer’s invite-only camp.

The Bahamas Basketball Federation, Bahamas Global Sports Foundation, CSA Basketball Academy and iOWNpr present the inaugural edition of the “Top 50 Basketball Camp,” July 29-31 at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.

The seven-member selection committee for the invite-only camp includes CSA basketball director Marvin Henfield - committee chairman, Mario Bowleg - vice president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation, Kevin Johnson - president of the GSSAA, Edgar Pickstock - former BBF federation executive, Francis Delva - Bahamas Basketball scout and recruiter, Lee Aldo Seymour - committee member and Jamal Gibson - committee member.

More than 100 scholarship opportunities will be available to the camp participants.

The breakdown will include - the top 10 players between grades 7-9, the top 20 players in grades 10-12 and the top 20 players unattached, who have graduated high school or currently attend a junior college.

The unattached group of players have participated in two pre-camp combines in an attempt to earn one of the few available spots still available for their demographic.

“We are almost there. Over 200 man hours were put into the selection process last week, including the graduates’ pre-camp which was a huge success,” Henfield said. “We wanted to take a chance to evaluate the guys in that area, we had about 17 of them show up, split them up into teams of five and they were able to show us what they have. Overall it went well, the management and administration was above what I expected, pair them up differently based on what we saw, came up with about 12 guys.

Henfield called this group the most intriguing of any that will be at the camp because of their ability to make an immediate impact, but admitted the skill level of the players have to be improved by the time the camp is conducted in July.

“We do have to strengthen that group, a few guys I wanted to attend didn’t make it. The challenge is those guys fall out of structure, so it is one of those things we have to work on. Skill wise these guys seemed nervous because they were essentially auditioning. They were playing more cautious and more selective and there was so much concern about evaluation that most of the guys held back, so we feel like we did not get to see everything. The way that we fix that is them going through the process of getting selected, and they are able to build. These rehearsals are preparation for the big dance and we have to remember a lot of these guys never had to go through this kind of thing, we speak to them before, have a meeting with them afterward and get them to understand some things they will have to change and better prepare them to take control of this opportunity.” Henfield said: “The big disappointment for me was that the skill level was not where the coaches anticipated. They wanted to see guys that can play at the JuCo and the NCAA level and that was not there with our first group. If you’re 22-years-old, coaches are looking for some hidden gems. But there is another hurdle academically because most of those guys don’t have SAT scores. If they cannot get SAT or ACT scores then all of this is for naught. It’s unfortunate because most of these guys were elite at the high school level and just did not have an avenue for their careers to continue.”

The full list of the 50 participants will be released at a later date.

The camp will be facilitated by Henfield, iconic head coach Mike Daniel and NBA Hall of Famer Alex English.

Daniel is a 30-year high school coaching veteran who is best known for coaching perennial NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony while at Towson Catholic. He led his teams to four Baltimore Catholic League and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference titles (1998-2001) and moved to City where he captured state titles in 2009 and 2010.

English was one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA during his 16-year career. Best known for his stint with the Denver Nuggets, English won three scoring titles and was named to eight All-Star teams.


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