MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Approximately 40 military and Japanese children from various installations across the Pacific region participated in the 2016 Mainland Basketball Association Spring Basketball Camp at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 11-14, 2016.
Student athletes between the ages of 12 and 18 attended the camp seeking to improve their knowledge of skills and basketball such as shooting, passing, dribbling, rebounding and defending. The four-day camp included morning, afternoon and evening sessions, which held classroom instruction and on-court practices.
“During this camp I have learned how to communicate with my team,” said Jamia Bailey, a Yokota High School student from Yokota Air Base, Japan. “I started doing things that made me uncomfortable, which is what they want you to do, and I’ve been open to trying new things. I have learned a lot from these camps, and going has helped my team because I developed leadership qualities, learned how to effectively communicate and was looked upon as a leader.”
The association assists young athletes in building character by using basketball to promote academic interest, athletic skills and aims to support and empower athletes using experienced coaches to help develop character, teamwork and leadership traits.
“One of the things MBA pursues is creating opportunities for military children and athletes that aspire to play at a different level,” said Kim Espinoza, MBA co-athletic director. “The education we provide these kids through Point Guard College is great. We are giving the kids the opportunities to not only learn about basketball, but providing them the keys to become great leaders and take that back to their communities.”
Point Guard College Basketball participated in their first international camp by sending five coaches to help teach athletes to play better basketball. Dick Devenzio founded the college to teach competitors to play smart basketball and become good leaders during practice, games and everyday life.
“This is our first international camp and the community was very receptive,” said Chad Songy, director of curriculum with the college. “We are very lucky to go across the world and teach in areas where they love basketball but just haven’t had the opportunity to learn. It’s incredibly rewarding. We are grateful for the MBA setting up this opportunity and would love to come back and do this again in the future.”