ELFRID Payton of the Orlando Magic and former WNBA player Sue Wicks are set to arrive in Manila to grace the Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 National Training Camp and help coach players from around the country vying to be named 2017 Jr. NBA All-Stars.
The National Training Camp will be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute May 12-13 and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 14.
Payton and Wicks will also serve as coaches at the annual Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game featuring past Jr. NBA standouts from across the country.
Payton, who was drafted 10th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2015. He averaged 12.8 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game with the Magic this season.
“I’m excited to visit the Philippines for the first time and experience the country’s enthusiastic basketball culture,” said Payton. “These young players have worked hard to be a part of this camp, and I can’t wait to get on the court with them.”
Wicks, a former WNBA All-Star, was selected 6th overall in the 1997 WNBA Draft. She spent six seasons in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
“Having visited the Philippines before, I’ve seen firsthand the passion that young boys and girls here have for the game,” said Wicks. “I’m looking forward to the trip and to working with the Jr. NBA participants to help take their game to the next level.”
Participation in this year’s program increased by 50 percent from last year, reaching more than 30,000 players and coaches in cities including Bacolod, Batangas, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Lucena, Metro Manila, and Puerto Princesa.
The Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 presented by Alaska culminates with the National Training Camp, which features the top 37 boys and top 37 girls participating in advanced fundamental skills training and exhibition games.
At the end of the National Training Camp, eight boys and eight girls will be selected as Jr. NBA All-Stars and will embark on an overseas NBA experience trip with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia later this year.
The program will also feature the selection of the 2017 Jr. NBA Coaches of the Year who will join the Jr. NBA All-Stars on the overseas trip.