Basketball Star Search Camp in progress
THE Jamaica Basketball Association (JBA) launched its Annual Star Search Basketball Life Skills Development Camp at the GC Foster College for Physical Education and Sports on Monday.
The programme, with fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) as title sponsor, is scheduled to run for one week (July 14-20).
Giving a brief address at the opening ceremony, Denzil Wilks, general manager at the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), reminded all campers that they should stay focused and aim high as new stars will emerge from this year's camp programme.
"Having read a little history and achievements of this cause, I have to suggest that this is not just a search for stars, but more so an opportunity to reach for the stars," Wilks said.
"I sincerely hope that no one regards this as an opportunity just to get to North America. What I see here today is a grouping of organisations that have truly recognised their remit. It is our mission as sporting organisers and developers to first of all identify talent and therefore seek to develop it," he added.
Ryan Silvera, brand manager at KFC, said that his company was pleased to continue its support in developing basketball in the country.
"As title sponsor of this programme for many years I am just glad to see you guys back here again. But this camp is really about growing and developing your skills so that you can get better at what you do because some great successes have come out of this camp.
"Just have a great week and enjoy yourself as well as the KFC that you will be getting every day," he said.
Meanwhile, Jamaican-born professional basketball player Samardo Samuels, who plays for Emporio Armani Milano in the Lega Basket Serie A in Italy, shared his experience participating in the programme with the campers.
"It's been like 12 years since I have last been on this court. I came to Star Search camp when I was like 12 years old and I was a kid from Montego Bay. In my mind it was like I have to get a scholarship and I have to leave this island and I did make it happen.
"I was like a little country boy from Trelawny and everybody was looking at us like our shoes was not in good condition, but I did not let that stop me. I worked hard for that scholarship and I earned it and up to this day I can tell you I have everything that I could possibly need and basketball is the cause for my success," said the 25-year-old former NBA player, who signed a three-year, US$3.3 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in August of 2010.
Other sponsors are GC Foster and SDF.