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    Monday, December 18, 2017-11:25:06P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI Rollers eyeing Jr. NBA camp in Guam

THE NMI Rollers want to participate in the 2017 Holiday Youth Camp Jr. NBA Guam program that will be held in Tamuning, Guam.

On Dec. 26 to 29 the Jr. NBA program will bring Veteran NBA player Vincent Askew to share his knowledge and experience of over 20 years in basketball as well as coaching prowess to the youth in Guam.

Although the camp will cost money, Rollers’ coach Joe Diaz has interest and is still currently in works with them on plans of bringing the camp to Saipan if possible.

Click to enlarge
Veteran NBA player Vincent Askew is seen here guiding a boy in shooting a free-throw in one of the basketball camps.
Askew drives against Chicago Bulls Toni Kukoc.  Contributed photos

“Having a veteran NBA player come to our home will not only benefit our club but the community as well,” Diaz said.

Sending one player off-island to a basketball camp cost a lot but Diaz is hoping to bring the program over to the islands and share the once in a life time experience with the rest of NMI spending the same amount of money.

“We are willing to do something to bring that player here for a week or two sharing his knowledge, techniques and more with Saipan, Tinian and Rota,” Diaz said.

“We can’t improve by just playing against each other, having clinics and competitions from outside will extend out game,” he added.

“New drills, insights and level of play will be shared to both coaches and players alike. We would love to have an opportunity to bring it here,” he said.

As for now Diaz is still working on this chance and will have more information in the later future.

First time ever

In a press release, Guam Basketball stated:

“For the first time ever, the Jr. NBA Program is coming to Guam. The 2017 Holiday Camp sponsored by TakeCare and FHP will host NBA veteran Vincent Askew to launch the Jr. NBA Guam from December 26 to 29 at Tamuning Gym.”

Askew said, “I am so excited to get to Guam and work with the kids. Basketball is my passion. I love teaching basketball at all levels and sharing my experience and knowledge as a coach, pro player and student-athlete to anyone who wants to learn.”

Askew spent 12 years in the NBA and was well known for playing with the Seattle Super Sonics (1992-96) alongside Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. In 1996, the Sonics advanced to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls but lost the series in six games.

Askew’s list of basketball achievements goes back to a NCAA Final Four appearance as a freshman with Memphis State University 1984-85 and drafted #39 in the 2nd round by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1987.

For the younger generation who are not too familiar, you can find him on NBA2K wearing a Sonics uniform.

After 14 years of running adult and youth basketball programs all year round, ACAS Program Director Elsa Ulloa knew it was time to take youth basketball to the next level. The result was months of due diligence and connecting with the right people in the industry that ultimately led Ulloa to the NBA corporate office in New York.

“I shared with the Jr. NBA coordinator that the basketball culture on our island is alive and vibrant, convincing them that Guam would be a good fit for their brand,” said Ulloa. She goes on to say that it was a process to get GuamBasketball.com authorized to run Jr. NBA programs. “Representing a global brand like the NBA comes with responsibility. Communicating with New York is important and happens daily. The end result was worth all the work and we are happy to welcome the Jr. NBA and Vincent Askew to Guam,” stated Ulloa.