Friday, June 16, 2017
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE Stingers Basketball Youth Association has reached a 10-year milestone as they prepare to host another annual edition of their summer basketball camp.
As it progresses toward a decade, the organisation continues to expand under camp director Stephen Strachan.
This year's camp, to hosted June 26 to July 14, will facilitate dozens of boys and girls aged six to 18, 9am to 1pm Mondays to Fridays at DW Davis Gymnasium.
"In the last few years, the growth has been fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised on day one. We are becoming a household name and the brand is building. Parents and kids are recognising it," Strachan said at last year's camp.
"The camp is going tremendously. They are coming in early and staying late to get extra work in. We thank God we have been growing and we continue to grow."
Strachan said that with an experienced staff of coaches and trainers, the coach-to-student ratio is one of the major benefits of the camp.
"The numbers are always manageable, our camper per instructor ratio works well. Here you will get a lot of reps, you will learn the skills and fundamentals of basketball and you will become a better player," he said.
In addition to Strachan and his team, for the second consecutive year, Tony Hobbs, head basketball instructor at Bridge Basketball Academy, will serve as a guest instructor.
Located in Duncanville, Texas, Bridge Basketball Academy considers itself a "basketball specific player-development company founded in 2012 to serve the needs of individual basketball players by providing them access to great player development."
Hobbs said he seeks to bring those same principles to the Stingers organisation.
"I started with two kids in the programme and we grew to 1,400 kids in a matter of four years by teaching basketball the right way. We focus on five core principles - ball control, shot mechanics, quickness and agility, game intelligence and body balance," Hobbs said.
"Each one is a building block to the next stage. We bring a complete structure. Every day we will go through a curriculum and it's a step by step process so we can really see what these kids have."
He added that the specialty of Bridge Basketball is taking players from their current level of play and advancing them to the next level. Bridge trainees represent every advanced level of basketball NBA, overseas, Division I collegiate basketball Division II collegiate basketball, Division III collegiate basketball, Nike EYBL, Adidas Grassroot along with other top tournaments around the nation as well as recreational play.
Over 30 local AAU clubs have players that specifically develop their technical skills at Bridge Basketball Skills Academy.
When he was contacted by coach Strachan and accepted the opportunity to facilitate the camp, Hobbs said he was eager to see the talent level in the country and to serve as a mentor.
"I was excited. The main thing I wanted to do was change their mentality to know what it takes to earn an opportunity at the next level. I think the Bahamas has some talent, from the young kids to the older level. I think the only difference between a kid that has talent and a kid that does not have talent is who works the hardest," Hobbs said. "With Bridge Basketball, my main goal was to give back to the community so these kids can get scholarships. When they get that free education they can come back to help in the community. I think it's really big to help in the community because if we can teach the youth to be better than us."
Strachan said the organsation continues to expand its growth following a successful series of summer camps which has also transitioned into a year-long programme.
Approximately 50 student-athletes take part in the programme that continues throughout the school year and Strachan highlighted parent participation as one of its major key contributors.