James Jones to help with B-ball camp

WEDNESDAY, APR. 25: Miami Heat star and NBA three-point champ James Jones will be in Bermuda to help teach a basketball camp this summer.

Jones will take part in the Dibia Athletic Development Elite Basketball Skills Camp scheduled for August 6 to 10 at the Sandys 360 Centre.

Camp organizer Steven Simons said this is a fantastic opportunity for Bermuda’s young basketball enthusiasts.

He said having Jones here is “unique.

“This is huge. I think the last time we had an NBA player come to Bermuda for a camp like this was when I was 10 or 11-years-old and that was (Chicago Bulls player) Craig Hodges.”

Simons attended those camps at MSA, which were organized by Dr Freddie Evans.

Simons said he remembers the huge impact it had upon him to be able to rub shoulders with Hodges and helped create a love of the game that has seen him play for the Bermuda men’s national basketball team.

“That was so huge, especially being in Bermuda where we don’t have access to NBA players. We only get to see them on TV, but to have one here, teaching kids hands-on, is huge.”


Simons pointed out Jones’ impact could be even bigger since they are likely to be one of the playoff favourites.

“He could potentially be the NBA champion by the time he gets here considering how well the Miami Heat are playing.

Simons said those attending the basketball camp could glean much from a player the calibre of James.

“Most young basketball players are striving to be in the NBA so they can get that unique outlook from somebody who is actually there through hard work. He wasn’t a first round draft pick but he’s ended up as NBA three-point champion and he’s playing regular minutes for the Miami Heat.

“With all his experience and his know-how, it would be great to get across to the kids.”

Simons said his friend Brandon Okpalobi, who is helping put on the camp through Dibia Athletic Development, played with Jones at the University of Miami.

“He has maintained a good relationship with him since, so he reached out to James and asked him if he would be interested. James has a brother-in-law in Bermuda, so that helps.”

Okpalobi, founder and CEO of Dibia Athletic Development, said: “The youth of our community are our most important asset. Dibia Athletic Development is an organization dedicated to helping athletes overcome daily obstacles by educating them on the principles of life, while providing basketball instruction.

“Dibia Athletic Development provides elite basketball training to athletes worldwide to help them maximize their full potential. Through intense training, players develop the necessary skills to excel on the basketball court; these skills also transcend to players’ personal development.

“I have dedicated my career to helping young people develop physically, mentally, and spiritually through athletics. I am as excited about the advancement of Dibia Athletic Development Elite Skills Basketball Camps and the benefits it provides for children.”

The camp currently costs $400 for the week, but Simons is hopeful a title sponsor will step forward to help reduce the costs and make it more affordable for families.

Registration details will be announced shortly. Simons said: “We’re hoping to have 100 kids attend the camp.”

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