By Alan Albano
With hundreds of Canadian players playing college basketball in North America, professional overseas and in the NBA, basketball has never been bigger in Canada. Sparked by the success and popularity of the Toronto Raptors, the number of young players participating in house leagues, school and rep teams have increased dramatically.
With the 8 Wing basketball team recently winning the Ontario Regional and Canadian National Championship, basketball continues all year-round. As a coach/player for the 8 Wing basketball team, I wanted to use basketball as a platform to improve and develop new relationships among CAF members and various communities. In the last two years, the 8 Wing basketball team (through basketball tournaments), has raised food through donations for the Gleaners and the Trenton Food Banks.
Community involvement is something that I have always been passionate about. I have trained and coached youth basketball at the YMCA, Kids Kamp, the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program and recently, The Basketball Academy, at 8 Wing Trenton. In addition, I have trained high school, college and professional players. Currently, as a head coach of the Halton U14 and the U14 Nike rep team, I have seen the growth in basketball IQ, skills and athleticism from our young players in Canada.
Players now have more opportunities as they compete on this side of the border during the fall/winter season and travel to the United States to play against the top teams in the spring through summer months. In July 2017, Canada made history as they won the U19 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Egypt. This was the first time Canada has won the gold medal at the world stage. They were led by R.J. Barrett, a player from Mississauga, Ontario, predicted to be the NBA’s #1 draft pick in a couple of years.
With the excitement and my passion for the game, I started The Basketball Academy at 8 Wing to expand and share my playing, training and coaching experience with the youth of the Quinte region. With the success of the 8 week fall program, new sessions for youths ages 5-10 and 11-18 have been developed and will commence in early January.
The main focus at The Basketball Academy is to develop student-athletes by teaching them the necessary skill-set required to be successful in basketball. They also learn habits that directly apply to everyday life, giving them a valuable foundation at an early age. We’re always striving to continuously improve our athletes with every session while encouraging confidence, strong work ethic and discipline.
Whether the desire is to play for fun, house league, school, rep team or to strive for an athletic college scholarship and maybe even professional, the opportunities are now there. The future of basketball in Canada is promising.
The Basketball Academy
For registration and information,
Contact PSP at 613-392-2811 Ext. 3361
Coach Alan Albano