The fourth annual Elite Basketball Camp will be one of the few basketball camps set to kick off the summer vacations for young people on the island of Grand Bahama.
Set to begin Monday, June 17-28 at the St. George’s Gymnasium between the hours of 9:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m., about 60 expected basketball campers will have the opportunity to build on their skills while receiving instruction from some of the top local coaches, along with visiting coaches out of the United States.
The camp is geared towards kids ages Five - 18. Coaches Denzel Knowles of D1 Development personal trainer and coach at Sunland Baptist Academy, along with Marco Cooper - another Sunland coach will be among the local coaches working with the incoming campers.
There will also be guest coach: Jason Harris - Shooting Coach (Webber International University Alumni) and current coach at a high school in Baltimore, Maryland.
Those coaches will be sharing their expertise with the campers in the fields of: ball handling, shooting, passing, basketball I.Q., film sessions and character development.
Camp Director Bonnie Basden, who co-founded the camp with head basketball coach at Sunland, Jay Philippe, was excited to announce the start of the camp recently, and based on the success of last year’s camp, she is expecting the camp to be bigger and better this time around.
“We think it’s going to be even greater and better this year as we will be allowed to host the camp indoors...I’d like to mention that this camp will feature a lot of skill development, a lot of shooting drills. It will be an awesome learning experience for a lot of people.
“We’re hoping at the end of the day they will become better basketball players and better athletes and doors would be open for them to possibly go to college in the future,” Basden shared.
Knowles, who has spent a brief time coaching in the United States, voiced that he cannot wait to work the campers and assured parents along with registered campers that this camp would be one to enjoy.
“When it comes to ball handling we’ll be doing a lot of two ball drills, a lot of footwork exercises, learning about different kinds of ball handling instead of the traditional pound dribbles that everyone is used to.
“We’ll get into different kinds of passing - two handed passing, one handed passing - and different types of finishes off both feet. We’ll also work on different types of finishes around the rim - strong finishes, weak finishes, elusive finishes and so forth.”
Although the camp is young in terms of existence, it did not take long to make a lasting impact on one camper’s life. Four years ago, when the camp first started, Jonisha Rolle, was given an opportunity she had longed for.
As she described, “My friend and I joined the camp and the first week I was doing a little bit of dribbling and shooting as always and Ms. Basden gave me a great opportunity and she told me there was a coach that was interested in me. She asked if I wanted to take that opportunity and of course I said yes.
“We went through the entire process, sent videos of my workouts to the coach and we got the visa sorted out. From there I was off to Arkansas for high school. At first it was a surprise because we didn’t know where it was. So we did a little bit of research and it was hard to leave my family and friends back home.
“But once I got there and got used to living with a new host family and got used to the coaches and students I began to fit in perfectly. Three years later we have won two championships where I was named a Most Valuable Player. Now I have a full ride scholarship to Crowder College (Junior College) in Missouri, where I will be spending two years there.
“I’m just grateful for my opportunity with Ms. B. and I would highly recommend this camp for anyone.”
Bethel’s Superstore is once again a proud sponsor of the tournament in it’s fourth year and the company’s representative, Nyjah Newbold-Oliver, shared that the company looks forward to the continued success of the upcoming camp.
“We continue to enjoy patronizing the camp. The kids did extremely well last year and we can’t wait to see what they are going to do this year. We pray that the camp will have a great comment,” she concluded.
The two-week camp carries a minimal weekly charge. For more information you can contact 242-441-3933.