By Judy Ngao
basketball players take note. A gruelling five-month training programme has been launched to scout out local talent at the hoops.
The Nike Hong Kong Youth (Boys and Girls) Basketball Training Scheme is now inviting applications. Players aged 14 to 19 are welcome to join the scheme, which starts in March and runs through to July.
There are three categories: boys 19 and under, boys 16 and under, and girls 19 and under.
The programme is organised by the government's Leisure and Cultural Service Department (LCSD), the Hong Kong Basketball Association and the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation.
It is effectively a combination of the former Hong Kong youth training scheme, launched in 1994, and the eight-year-old Nike All Hong Kong Youth Basketball League. The new scheme will also be sponsored by Nike.
The tryout and screening process will be held at four district LCSD basketball courts in March.
Those who make it through will receive intensive training from professional basketball coaches.
Players who make it to Stage Three could have the chance to play in the Nike All Hong Kong Youth Basketball League 2007, which has cultivated many local stars, including Poon Chi-ho, Chung Ming-tat and Tam Wai-yeung.
Application forms are now available from LCSD offices, the Hong Kong Basketball Association and Nike shops. The application deadline is February 10. The entry fees charged for stage one, two and three are HK$50, HK$90 and HK$60, respectively. For more information go to www.nike.com.hk or call the Hong Kong Basketball Association at 2504 8183.
TRYOUT AND TRAINING SCHEDULE
Screening test -- First tryout (boys)
Screening test -- First tryout (girls) and second tryout (boys)
Stage One -- Training (two sessions) and selection
May to July:
Stage Two -- Training (nine sessions), selection and competition
Stage Three -- Intensive training and Nike All Hong Kong Youth Basketball League 2007 draft pick
July to August:
Nike All Hong Kong Youth Basketball League 2007