The first boot camp for young basketball players in Senegal is underway. The three-day camp is serving as a platform to nurture young players under 17 years of age.
These future stars will learn team spirit, speed and determination, qualities required to play basketball.
This first camp is an initiative launched by the NBA to train the best players on the continent.
it's just a lot of work. We have to work every day. Basketball is a repetitive sport so you can't relax.
“I have seen progress, especially for young women, they have the opportunity to practice a sport, and when you look at them, they are eager to learn. They like us to be here and to believe in them. We want them to leave the field only with additional basketball knowledge, but also to understand that it is a way to acquire an education, to have a better life. Let them leave the field as courageous and self-confident women”, said coach, Ruth Riley.
The road is still long but not insurmountable for these young girls who are determined to work hard.
“It was hard for me as a girl, often the girls rarely train, because you know the DRC, there is too much war, too many things, but we always force ourselves to do it. I was really impressed and happy to be chosen to come here to play at the NBA Academy”, said Lydie Mwamba, Congolese player.
For Senegalese player, Bineta Diatta ‘‘it’s just a lot of work. We have to work every day. Basketball is a repetitive sport so you can’t relax.”
The North American Basketball Association and the non-profit SEED project in May last year, opened an elite training facility in Thies, Senegal , the first of its kind in African to scout for fresh young ballers from across the continent.