Jan 28, 2020 Sports
The annual Youth Hoops Basketball Guyana Clinic and Tour is back this Easter. United States-based Xperience Outreach Youth Coach Rich Mahler and another NBA star are expected in Guyana to conduct several free youth clinics in April.
Former NBA players Jermain Taylor (Washington Wizards) and Anthony Bonner (New York Knicks) have trained more than 200 young players during successful 2019 clinics in Georgetown and Linden.
This year the training will be shifted to Kwakwani, a community in Upper Demerara-Berbice with around 4,000 residents. Boys and girls between the ages of 7 – 19 who are already playing the sport will have an intense two-day training session.
Training will focus on footwork, aggressiveness, mentality, and all around offensive skills including ball handling and shooting. The programme will then move to Georgetown where young players will receive similar training.
“We are excited to include Kwakwani on our youth basketball training tour. The young men and women from this community have dominated youth basketball for over a decade, that is impressive. Additionally, they have travelled to Georgetown and Linden for our last two clinics in 2019 so this time we are visiting their community. I would like to thank Coach Ann Gordon and her supporters for partnering with us to ensure the success of the Kwakwani leg of the tour,” Amanda Wilson of Green Mango Media stated.
Youth Hoops Basketball Guyana founder Amanda Wilson visited Kwakwani to examine facilities and met with Coach Gordon, a former national volleyball and basketball player who is committed to developing basketball in that community.
Coach Gordon noted that the experiences gained in her early sporting life have driven her passion to give back to the community.
“I cannot sit at home beyond 4:30 pm on a given afternoon, my phone would ring and more so, there will be about ten kids outside my home calling me out to the court.”
Kwakwani has over the years produced a number of national male and female basketball players, including Stanton Rose who is now on a full scholarship at Jacksonville College in Texas, United States.
The community has two outdoor basketball courts. The main court was built in the 1960s in the heart of community and was suitably renamed the Anne G Basketball Court.
While the Ministry of Communities has built bleachers and is now constructing change room facilities, Coach Gordon stressed that the central court badly needs further upgrading, from resurfacing to adding durable backboards, additional lights, scoreboard and team benches.
Coach Gordon continues to inspire her young players through her unwavering commitment to keeping basketball alive there. In addition to the Youth Hoops Basketball Easter Clinic in April, the Kwakwani Under 18 Youth Basketball Guyana 2019 national male and female champions are expected to tour neighbouring Suriname for the first time, Easter Weekend.
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