Basketball

17 year old Nigerian Chizaram Victory applauds NBA Academy

Dapo Sotuminu

Nigeria’s Chizaram Victory has applauded the NBA Academy in Saly, Senegal for providing her with a lifelong opportunity to develop her basketball skills, a situation which she said would be exploited for the good of the game.

Speaking on her participation in the third NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp, she said: “The experience here at the NBA Academy Africa has been a great one. I met many people, different girls from different countries, willing to work, willing to put their best in the game, they play their hearts out. The girls are strong and have confidence in what we believe. It’s really motivating for me.”

Chizaram noted that working with WNBA legends Astou Ndiaye, Mwadi Mabika, Ebony Hoffman and Jennifer Azzi at the NBA Academy camp in Senegal was a fulfilling experience. She added: “It is a great opportunity because it doesn’t come by every time. It’s very good for us to learn from  legends and also have role models to look up to.

“I want to be able to be confident in myself as a person, improve my game. I want to be a versatile player who can play, handle the ball, shoot and also be good in the post. I want to improve my game, my sense of calculation during the game, and I also want to impact and be a motivation to other girls.”

The 2019 NBA Academy Africa Women’s Camp concluded on Sunday, November 17 with a final set of basketball scrimmages, competitive games and a life skills seminar dedicated to a discussion on gender equality.

Camp Awards

Most Valuable Player (No. 9): Sara Caetano (Angola)

Most Improved Player (No.16): Mareme Diop (Senegal)

Defensive Player Award (No.22): Maimouna Haidara (Mali)

Coaches Award (No 17, 28): Aminata Tal (Senegal), Chizaram Victory Fredricks (Nigeria)

Sharp Shooter Award (No.14): Sira Thienou (Mali)

The third day of the camp had the girls learn more about zig zag defense, shell defense and continue to participate in close out drills. Defense and rebounding were the emphasis of the day and the campers performed championship rebounding drills and played 5 v 5 games in the afternoon.

 The NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp continued on Friday, November 15 with a focus on a position specific development. The day started with elite guard live action stations where the girls had a chance to learn best plays applicable to specific game situations.

Following the morning session, the girls took part in a Referee Operations Panel Discussion. There will always be a need for young athletes to be aware of the opportunities and pathways available in parrallel or aside from their playing career. In the session moderated by Morgan Cato (NBA), former NBA referee Gary Zielinski (NBA Director of Amateur and Youth Officiating) and Senegal International Referee Astou Dabo, the panelists discussed refereeing as a pathway for young African athletes who want to stay involved in the game or contribute to the ecosystem on the continent. The girls learned about the role of a referee and why his or her role is so important in basketball, what characteristics of a good referee are and how young athletes can get involved in refereeing.

The girls came back on the court in the afternoon for elite skills development stations and basketball games.

The third NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp got on the way in Saly, Senegal on Thursday morning. The four-day camp is being overlooked by WNBA legends: two-time WNBA Champion and two-time WNBA All-Star Mwadi Mabika (DRC), 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Azzi, (U.S.), 2003 WNBA Champion Astou Ndiaye (Senegal) and 2008 WNBA Most Improved Player Ebony Hoffman (U.S.).

The camp features 24 top female prospects ages 17 and under from 10 African countries: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The high intensity first day saw the girls learn elite shooting mechanics, transition ball handling, offensive drills and teamwork. The camp will continue throughout the next three days and will conclude on Sunday, November 17.

The NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp continued on Friday, November 15 with a focus on a position specific development. The day started with elite guard live action stations where the girls had a chance to learn best plays applicable to specific game situations.

NBA Africa Managing Director and Basketball Africa League President, Amadou Gallo Fall, visited the camp and spent some time with the girls in the next session, speaking about the values of the game and answering some of the girls’ questions.

Following the morning session, the girls took part in a Referee Operations Panel Discussion. There will always be a need for young athletes to be aware of the opportunities and pathways available in parrallel or aside from their playing career. In the session moderated by Morgan Cato (NBA), former NBA referee Gary Zielinski (NBA Director of Amateur and Youth Officiating) and Senegal International Referee Astou Dabo, the panelists discussed refereeing as a pathway for young African athletes who want to stay involved in the game, or contribute to the ecosystem on the continent. The girls learned about the role of a referee and why his or her role is so important in basketball, what characteristics of a good referee are and how young athletes can get involved in refereeing.

The girls came back on the court in the afternoon for elite skills development stations and basketball games.

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