Basketball Without BordersCamp 'will be good experience'


Tribune Sports Reporter


FIVE local basketball standouts will be afforded the opportunity to compete at the historic Basketball Without Borders Camp next week, hosted by the The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF).

The group of student-athletes athletes includes three boys - Dominic Bridgewater (Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves), Samuel Hunter (British Colombia Prep Panthers) and Derryn Johnson (St. Anne's Blue Waves) and two girls - Briontae Riley (Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins) and Diondrea Nixon (Tabernacle Baptist Falcons).

Bridgewater, a 5'10" point guard out of Anatol Rodgers, said he considers it an honour to be selected to the prestigious programme. "I think it's great because it gives us a chance to show the talent to the coaches and to everyone there and I think it'll be a good experience," he said. "[Training for this] It's been fun, I like to work hard so it's been good over the past few weeks. I push myself all year, in the season during school so I'm used to it. I'll do what I always do, I don't change my game much but I'll just show them what I can do."

Bridgewater is also a member of the BBF's junior national team programme and will compete on the men's Centrobasket Under-17 team in Santo Domingo, July 26-30. He played alongside Hunter at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation's Under-16 Tournament last July where Bridgewater won MVP en route to leading the Bahamas to the gold medal. "[Everyone who was selected] They're good players. I played with Sammy last year at the CBC team and I'm familiar with him, he's a great player," he said. "I think we have a better team than last year. I think we'll win the gold again this year."

A former student at St John's College, Hunter, a 6'8" forward, recently completed his sophomore year at British Colombia Prep in Canada, while Johnson - a 6'2" wing - was the leading scorer for the St Anne's Blue Waves last season.

Riley was also one of the leading forces behind the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins' success the past two seasons which led to numerous tournament titles, including two GSSSA Championships and one national title.

Nixon's Falcons also claimed the GBSSAA title in Grand Bahama this past season.

Basketball Without Borders will feature the top 66 boys and girls from 16 countries and territories who will travel to the Bahamas for the ninth edition of the BWB Americas Camp. The camp will be held July 5-8 at Kendal Isaacs.

It marks the first time that the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach programme will be held in the Bahamas. Nike will serve as the official partner.

NBA and FIBA players and coaches, including J.J. Barea (Dallas Mavericks; Puerto Rico), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks; Canada) and Sasha Vujacic (New York Knicks; Slovenia), will coach the high school age campers. Barea, Powell and Vujacic, will be joined by WNBA Legend Ebony Hoffman (US).

BWB, the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach programme has reached more than 2,720 participants from 134 countries and territories since 2001, with 46 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-three former BWB campers, including four former BWB Americas campers, were on opening-night rosters for the 2016-17 season, including Bruno Caboclo (Toronto Raptors; Brazil; BWB Americas 2013), Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks; South Sudan; BWB Americas 2015) and Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics; Canada; BWB Americas 2009). Three former BWB campers were drafted in the 2017 NBA Draft: Lauri Markkanen (No. 7 overall pick - Chicago Bulls; Finland; BWB Europe 2014/BWB Global 2015), Frank Ntilikina (No. 8 overall pick - New York Knicks; France; BWB Europe 2015/BWB Global 2016) and Isaiah Hartenstein (No. 43 overall pick - Houston Rockets; U.S.; BWB Europe 2015/BWB Global 2016).

Current NBA assistant coaches James Borrego (San Antonio Spurs), Jim Boylan (Cleveland Cavaliers), Darvin Ham (Atlanta Hawks) and David Vanterpool (Portland Trail Blazers) will also serve as BWB Americas coaches.

Patrick Hunt (President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches; Australia) and Ronald Cass (FIBA Coach) will serve as camp directors for the boys and girls, respectively. Armando Rivas (Chicago Bulls) will serve as the camp's athletic trainer.

Players and coaches will lead the campers through a variety of activities on and off the court, including movement efficiency, positional skill development, 5-on-5 games and daily life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication. One boy and one girl will be named BWB Americas Camp MVPs at the conclusion of the camp.


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