Sunday, April 17, 2016

Basketball Dreams Made Come True by the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska

Ever since basketball has found its home in the Philippines since it was invented in the early 20th century, it has become the country’s favourite past time, be it watching a professional one or just playing among themselves. No matter what time and place basketball can be seen played by kids and adults alike.

As I walked into Don Bosco Technical School last Sunday, my third time to cover the event, I was happy to see the many kids that has gathered that weekend for the finals of the Regional Section Camp Manila. I was not able to make it on Saturday but I was updated that it was by far the largest participants they have with close to 2,000 boys and girls who were in Don Bosco for the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska.


Each kid came with determination on their faces and intensity in their game, each wanted to be part of the Regional Section Camp Manila who will then compete for the National Training Camp. As I talk to some of them, many said it was their second, third or their last try to be part of the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska.

You can almost imagine them when they were still a toddler and the first toy they get their hands into is a ball, not a toy gun or a toy car but a ball. You can also imagine the delight in their faces as they can make the ball bounce or try to shoot it in a mini hoop. But now that they have reached the age where they can join the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska, a lot of them have made their basketball playing in a higher level. They were given the chance to make more of it and realized their dreams of becoming a hoop star in the future.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of Alaska Milk’s programs that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life.

“These holistic programs train children to be confident, disciplined and hardworking because Alaska Milk Corporation aims to prepare them to be winners in life in the future.” said Blen Fernando, Marketing Director.

  


There were a lot of kids who caught my attention that Sunday but only one stood out among his peers. Of course you will immediately noticed Kai Zachary Sotto, who at thirteen already stands 6″9. It was already his third try and he promised his father to be part of the National Training Camp this year. Everyone seemed to be cheering on for Kai and as we stalked him or dog tailed him, he remained to be unaware or nonchalant that he was under the microscope that day.




I observed that the Manila RSC has great young girl players and many are active and resolute in their game. One light moment that made me smile is during the break periods where some of the girls coaxed Kai in having a picture with them.

The scrimmage that followed was intense and played well, and then it was time to announce the team that will compose the Manila RSC. They need 16 boys and 8 girl to make up the 50 boys and 24 girls in the National Training Camp.

It was kind of nerve racking but many of my choices were included in the list, but the audience seemed to be waiting for one name and when finally Kai's name were the last to be called, everyone cheered.



And we all know what happened to Kai after that weekend of the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska Manila Regional Selection Camp. He was literally an overnight sensation and the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska made it possible for him more to be in the centre staged.

I'm just glad that I took a photo with him as he was just starting in his hoop dream journey. We never know he might make more waves in the coming National Training Camp happening on Manila on April 22-24.





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