Scale the heights with NBA legend in Shantou
By Jonathan Powell
A chance to join NBA legend Vlade Divac at a training camp in Shantou will be the prize for more than 10 outstanding juniors selected from the inter-school Basketball Marathon being held this week at Harbour Road Sports Centre.
All the top school teams are playing in the three-a-side marathon competition, and the opportunity to win a place at the camp and meet the retired LA Lakers star will add excitement.
The 2006 Vlade Divac Basketball Camp will be held at Shantou University, and is run by the 'NBA Cares' programme, and the Li Ka-shing Foundation. It will run from August 2 to 6.
The Hong Kong juniors, boys and girls, will join up with 60 mainland players, Divac, and possibly other NBA stars and coaches.
The 38-year-old Divac, who stands 2.16 metres tall, is one of just three NBA players who have amassed 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots.
He will spread the positive values of the NBA programme, which emphasises teamwork, fair play, and hard work.
English and leadership training will also be taught at the camp.
The marathon is the last inter-school tournament of the 2005 to 2006 year.
Over 200 girls and boys teams have signed up for the annual eight-day competition, which started last Friday.
The knock-out competition features teams from the six New Territories divisions and the Hong Kong and Kowloon districts. The finals are on Saturday.
Teams that qualify for the quarter-finals in both boys and girls events will be allowed to nominate two players each for the basketball camp.
A selection committee from the Hong Kong School Sports Federation will then select up to 12 players to join the camp. Two school basketball coaches will also go.
'We realised that this would be a fantastic opportunity for the Hong Kong students and a good way to introduce the NBA concept to them,' said Silas Chiang Tak-cheung, secretary general of the HKSSF.
'We will make the selection based on skill, conduct, organisational ability, and leadership and communications skills.'
Ying Wa College won the Basketball Marathon title for the first time last year, defeating their arch rivals Newman College 37-14.
In the girls' competition, Heep Yunn School clinched the trophy for the first time, following a 25-12 victory over their Kowloon City rivals United Christian College.