Engen US Basketball coaches impact SA youth

Friday, 31 October 2008

South Africa, courtesy of Engen played host to four US basketball coaches who travelled to Durban on 29 September 2008 and Mitchell's Plain, on the Cape Flats, Cape Town on 04 October 2008 to conduct Engen US Coaches Tour Basketball Festivals. The main drive behind the national festivals was to share their wealth of knowledge of basketball at competitive level with our local basketball coaches.

At the clinics in Durban and Cape Town a total of two hundred and fifty youth were gathered from the local communities, who were for the first time given the opportunity not only to try their hands at basketball but enhance their knowledge of the game through an intense two hour coaching clinic. The youth also got the chance to interact with the coaches and brush up on their shooting, ball handling, defense and passing skills.

An integral part of the programme was a life skills session which emphasized the importance of education as the foundation for any successful career. Participants were also given an opportunity to showcase what they had learnt by taking part in 3 on 3 street ball challenges and 3 point shoot outs.

The team of US Coaches were lead by Joyce Jenkins, former basketball star and current president of Futur Incorporated. Joining her was Marvin Harvey (Chairman and Founder of Harvey's Shooters Touch Academy as well as former Coach of the WNBA Houston Comets), Carl Mattei (Adidas All-Star camp coach) and YeRushia Brown (Seven year WNBA veteran and former Furman University basketball standout).

One of the US coaches was so moved by the passion and enthusiasm displayed by one of the barefooted young participants in Durban, he gave the youth his own pair of shoes to wear and train in. This kind gesture has since inspired the coaches to launch a drive in the US among colleges and community centres for youth and basketball players to send their old and "used" basketball shoes to South Africa.

Each participant was given an Engen basketball as well as other Engen sponsored gifts. "Engen is proud of our commitment to development and to be a part of the US Coaches Tour for the fourth year running. The tour has provided a unique opportunity for our youth to realize their potential in basketball and motivates them to follow their dreams in both sport and education." Brad Bergh, Engen Corporate Sponsorship Manager.