SINT MAARTEN/SABA – The St. Maarten National Basketball Association (SXMNBA) received a request from the Public Health Department of Saba, for 2 coaches who will be able to give a week-long basketball clinic for the boys and girls ages 9-18 of Saba. The two coaches that were selected to go, based on availability and that were fully vaccinated were Alex Ferdinand (President of the SXMNBA) and Herbert “Prince” Martina (Public Relation Officer for the SXMNBA). The delegation left St. Maarten on Sunday July 11th and was joined by the St. Eustatius swimming delegation. 

The very first day of the basketball clinic was used for introduction, orientation, and to basically see what skill level the players were on. The first challenge was to tweak the program to accommodate these players who had basketball competition experience and balance it out for the others who recently started the game. 25 participants take part, with the clinic starting 2PM to 5PM every day. The goal was not only to go through physical drills with the young players, but also teach them the mental aspects of the game; instilling values while learning the game, time management, being punctual, team spirit, positive attitude and the love for the process of practicing was some of the things discussed. 

Day 2 the SXMNBA coaches focused on passing and went throw various passing drills. They also focused on the correct way to shoot and stand when at the free throw line. Day 3 was dedicated to layup and using both hands as it pertains to offense, the young men and women were given a treat. they could finally play a pickup match in which they showed off their individual skills. Day 4 was more focused on defense, and Day 5 was the player performance evaluation. Each player had a player performance evaluation in which information such as: Name, Date of Birth, Height, Weight, a digital picture. The evaluation sheet denotes a grading system from 1 to 5 whereas 5 being outstanding: the criteria’s included shooting, dribbling, passing, defense, rebounding, athletic ability, game play, coachability and overall strengths. 

“It was a pleasure taking part in this Basketball clinic. It is truly an honor to be part of the shaping and molding of some fine players all be it for a week. however, we look forward to a return to Saba. It is our firm opinion that There isn’t enough talent in the world that can’t be improved through constant practice. Saba needs to recognize the talent they have in some of these players, but they need proper coaching and guidance in order to make a regional impact when it pertains to basketball, said Herbert “Prince” Martina (Public Relation Officer for the SXMNBA)

The SXMNBA would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the Public Health Department of Saba and its organizers Joelyn Robinson and Lauren Risley for their hospitality, also express thanks to the caterer Aggies Bakery & Creations for the healthy and tasty meals. Thank you to the parents of the kids for allowing them to take part in this basketball clinic, and of course to the kids themselves for being so coachable. And a special thanks to Guardian Group Fatum for supplying reversible uniforms that were used in the clinic. “Saba, we love you and see you next time” said Alex Ferdinand (President of the SXMNBA).