Aug 01, 2017 Sports
A two-day Basketball Clinic for 50 young aspiring Guyanese, conducted by American Coach Elvis Valcarcel and Associate Coach Agnus Berenato along with NBA representative Allison Feaster concluded yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The programme, facilitated by United States Embassy here, commenced on Wednesday with a Coaches Clinic and visits by the US Sports Envoy to Sports Minister Nicolette Henry at the her Office and Director of Sports Christopher Jones at the National Sports Commission (NSC).
Charge’ d’ Affairs Terry Steers- Gonzalez greeted the youngsters, Jones, other sports officials and the Media on behalf of Ambassador Holloway who is on vacation. Steers-Gonzalez thanked Minister Henry and the NSC for allowing the use of the Sports Hall for the Clinic.
”I am so pleased to see so many energetic young people here today (yesterday). You are in for a treat since we have three special visitors all the way from America and though they have very difficult jobs, they all have one thing in common…. Basketball “ Gonzalez told the gathering.
The American official said the American Embassy is pleased to be able to make this event possible.
”You may be asking yourself what sports have to do with diplomacy. Quite a lot more than you can imagine. When we play sports we learn the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, learning from mistakes, respect goes far beyond the playing fields. Indeed Sports are among the best tools we have today to help children and young people develop positive character traits and life values” Gonzalez informed.
Director of Sports, Chris Jones thanked the US Embassy for organising the Clinic which is good for Guyana, United States relationships. Jones said that now that the door is open he hopes he could knock on that door for other such programmes in 2018 and beyond.
The all-day clinic saw the Coaches teaching youngsters who travelled from Berbice, Linden and Essequibo for the Clinic at which the fundamentals of the sport were taught. Valcarcel begins his third season with the Pelicans, his second as an Assistant Coach after serving as a Special Assistant to the Head Coach during the 2015-16, season. He joined the Pelicans after serving as the Video Coordinator for the Sacramento Kings from 2013-15.
Before joining the Kings, Valcarcel was the Video Coordinator for the Phoenix Suns from 2009-13 after serving as the Assistant Video Coordinator during the 2008-09 season.
While with the Suns, Valcarcel also was an Assistant Coach for the Suns’ NBA Summer League squad in 2010 and 2012 and did advance scouting in 2011 and 2012.
Valcarcel was also the Video Coordinator for the Phoenix Mercury in 2009 when they won the WNBA championship. Prior to Phoenix, Valcarcel worked two years as an Administrative Assistant/Video Coordinator for the men’s basketball programme at Seton Hall University.
From Union City, N.J., Valcarcel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University.
Berenato has earned a reputation of turning around struggling programs and building them into winners. After one season as the head coach of the Kennesaw State women’s basketball program, Berenato has shown signs of building upon that legacy.
In her first season leading the Owls, Berenato guided Kennesaw State to a 10-20 overall record, 8-6 ASUN Conference mark, and the program’s highest seed in the league’s postseason championship.
KSU, which won eight of its final 12 games, hosted a tournament game for the first time, defeating NJIT, 62-60, and advanced to the ASUN Championship semifinals for the second time.
Under Berenato’s leadership, Kennesaw State had four players earn ASUN Conference postseason honors.
Carlotta Gianolla was voted freshman of the Year and selected to the All-Freshman team.
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