FIBA to host first-ever Pacific Youth Leaders Basketball Camp

(C) FIBA Oceania Website

PORT MORESBY - The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced the first ever Pacific Youth Leaders (PYL) Basketball Camp to be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on the 2nd-11th of September 2016.

In a historic move, FIBA in Oceania will bring together the Pacific's best emerging talent between the ages of 17-20 to participate in a 10-day elite basketball and youth development camp. They will have the opportunity to learn directly from some of Australia’s greatest basketball legends and compete against some of the best young players in the region.

Former WNBA and Australian Opals Coach, Carrie Graf, and four-time Olympian and former Australian Boomers Coach, Phil Smyth, will lead the camp. The coaches will be assisted by both current and former Australian Basketball Stars ensuring a level of exposure to elite basketball not usually afforded to players in the Pacific.

"Basketball is such a great game," Smyth said. "You encourage any young kid to improve and they will enjoy it more because they go on to become better players."

Participants will be exposed to elite basketball activities through a rigorous training program conceived and delivered by Graf and Smyth. These players will work on advanced individual skills, position-based and team orientated skills, and have the opportunity to participate in a number of showcase games against the Papua New Guinean national teams.

A crucial component to the PYL Camp is youth development which will see participants work with experienced facilitators to enhance their individual skills and teach them values that lead to success in both basketball and life. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation are working closely with the coaches and FIBA to develop a curriculum to teach participants valuable life skills such as communication, team work, leadership, decision making both on and off the court, and how to handle adversity.

"The camp will be aimed at emerging basketball talent in the Pacific, and in many cases, those players will already be role models in their communities," said FIBA Oceania Development Manager and former Australian Opal Annie La Fleur. "This camp will give them the opportunity to enhance both their basketball and personable skills, whilst also empowering them to make a difference to their communities when they return home."

"The youth development focus is pivotal to the whole program," Smyth said in regard to working with facilitators on the life skills workshop. "The PYL Camp, and basketball more generally, is multi-dimensional. We will be helping kids for life."

In addition to working with the participants on the court, the Australian Basketball greats will have scheduled time to share their experiences and life stories. "Basketball shaped my life and I have been lucky in so many ways," commented La Fleur. "This will be an eye opening experience for both the Australian Opals and Boomers, as well as the participants."

This camp is made possible by Australian Government funding through Pacific Sports Partnership Innovation Funding.


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