Young Belizean basketballers granted opportunity to participate in Lebron James camp

Second, third and fourth form high school students who have dreams of playing basketball professionally as a future career will be getting a chance to do just that. Twelve young Belizean Basketball enthusiasts along with several coaches from across the country will be granted the opportunity to attend The LeBron James-King James Classic Basketball Tournament to be held in Akron, Ohio. The Tournament attracts coaches and scouts from all across the United States and is an excellent opportunity for high school students to be recruited by top colleges and a possible future career in professional basketball.

Ismael Garcia, National Sports Administrator
The big news that we have right now is the King James Classic Basketball Tournament sponsored by Lebron James, which will be held in Akron Ohio, from April 27th to 29th. The Ministry of Sports and the Belize Basketball Association are very excited about this tournament. The reason we are excited is because we have been given an opportunity to participate in this tournament. The King James Classic sponsored by Lebron James is a tournament in which high schoolers from all across the United States gather together and get exposure to other teams. This is a chance where scouts and coaches from some of the top colleges in the United States come and look at the talent that is out there and that is available. This provides an excellent opportunity for young men from Belize to earn scholarships to top universities in the United States.

This opportunity is being afforded through efforts of the Hon. John Saldivar, the Ministry of Sports and the Belize Basketball Federation. Ismael Garcia, national sports administrator, tells us who qualifies.

Ismael Garcia
It caters to young people who have a strong family background and also they need to have good academic records. In trying to arrive at who are these privilege young men who will go to this tournament, the Ministry has set up a series of tryouts in all the districts. What we want to do is to make it as fair as possible, so we will be having tryouts in each of the six districts of Belize, where young men will be invited, who are in high school off course, because they have to qualify to enter into colleges. In every district we will be selecting five or six young men and then on the weekend of February 25th and 26th, all of them will assemble in Belmopan where the final selection process will take place.

Besides the event being a great opportunity, it also focuses on teaching young, high school basketball players complex basketball skills through drills, practices and games, allowing the players to test out their new skills against the best-of-the best in high school basketball within the United States.

Ismael Garcia
The tryouts will begin in Orange Walk on February 11th and then it will move to Corozal on Sunday 12th. On Monday 13th it will be held at the Belize Civic Center. On Tuesday 14th it will be held here in Belmopan from 5pm to 7pm and again on Thursday 16th from 5 to 7pm. Tryouts will be held in Punta Gorda on February 18th, in Dangriga on Sunday 19th, in San Ignciao on Monday 20th and then in San Pedro on Wednesday 22nd. The one thing that we are trying to emphasize with the young men who will come out to these tryouts is to bring as much family members and friends as you can bring - to show that you have a strong peer group support, because this one of the things that the tournament, coaches and scouts like to check out. They want to know how stable is this young man if afforded a scholarship.

"King James" as he's nicknamed, currently wears jersey number six for the Miami Heat's and plays the position of guard or forward. The tournament is to be held from April 27th - the 29th.