DENG Academy players were put through their paces as they took part in a morning clinic with Great Britain Under-20 assistant coach James Vear at Brixton Recreation Centre.
The clinic was put on as part of the second annual Hoopsfix All Star Classic, a one day showcase of the top up and coming basketball talent in the country, organized by British basketball website Hoopsfix.com. It took place before Under-17 and Under-19 all star games in the afternoon that were played in front of a sold out crowd of 500 people – including the DENG Academy kids who got free entry.
“It is always great to work with young kids who are relatively new to the game,” said Vear. “They have a great enthusiasm for basketball and I hope me and the other coaches taught them a few things they can use in the future.
“Ronnie is also doing a great job at the DENG Academy I got to see the academy when it first started and the kids he has there have improved so much in a very short time.”
Vear put the kids through stations, working on their ball handling, shooting and passing skills. He was assisted by Lewis Gabriele, as well as two players who would play in the Under-19 game later on; England Junior internationals Josh Steel and Myles Laurent-Smart.
“Coming to Brixton, it was important for us to find a way to work with people on the ground in the local area,” said Sam Neter, founder of the Hoopsfix All Star Classic.
“To have the DENG Academy kids take part in the morning was absolutely awesome. They were all punctual, enthusiastic and great participants. Hopefully in a few years time we will be looking at one or two of them to take part in the actual exhibition games!”
Additionally, DENG Academy Head Coach Ronnie Baker was on hand, as he headed up the U17 Team White, who would later go on to beat Team Black 100-89, behind a 20 point, 7 rebound and 5 assist performance from MVP Gedi Juozapaitis.
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