Star Search campers land basketball scholarships

BY LIVINGSTON SCOTT Observer staff reporter

Sunday, July 22, 2012    

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THE annual Jamaica Basketball Association (JABA)/KFC Star Search camp, hosted at GC Foster College, continues to open doors for players who dream of earning a scholarship in the United States.

Over the years, the famed camp has paved the way for countless players, with notables such as Cleveland Cavaliers' Samardo Samuels and New York Knicks' Jerome Jordon.

At the conclusion of this year's camp, which started last Sunday and ended on Friday, it was announced that two more youngsters would be taking up scholarships this year.

Fifteen-year-old Cornwall College student Akeem Grant has accepted a scholarship to a New York high school, while former Cornwall student, 20-year-old Ricardo Greaves who last attended St Andrew Technical, will attend Master College in California.

Both players say they intend to work hard and make the most of the opportunity.

"I'm going to work hard and focus on my studies... but I am young so I hope I will learn a lot," said the soft-spoken Grant.

Greaves said he was looking to improve his game and earn a degree. "And if all goes well, maybe play professionally," he added.

Akeem's father Leebert Grant praised the camp and encouraged aspiring players to be a part of the event if they have ambitions of excelling in the sport.

"This camp is a very good thing; it's just a pity you don't have more persons from other areas of Jamaica taking part," he said.

He is also confident Akeem will excel in his new environment. "He works hard... and the focus will be on academics and basketball and I'm quite certain he will do well," he said.

Meanwhile, Vandino Barceli, a coach at the College of Eastern Utah, which former Belair High student Neveij Walters attends, said he has his eyes on two players with the hope of getting at least one soon.

He was also impressed with the camp and believes it is setting the foundation for local basketball.

"The camp was awesome and the kids were awesome and there is a lot of talent here, so I see a bright future for Jamaica's basketball," he said.

Director of media relations, Leonard Whyte, said the camp will continue to serve it's purpose of teaching life skills and using basketball to create academic opportunities for youngsters.

"A lot of guys come out of this camp... the team that won the Centro recently, more than half came from this camp so we will continue to hone the talent and help get them into schools where they can excel," he said.

At the presentation on Friday, St Andrew Technical's Keiron Dill and Spot Valley's Loretta Gordon were named male and female MVPs.

Dill was also the senior one-on-one champion, while Gordon was the female one-on-one and free-throw winner.



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