KENJI Duremdes and Echo Laure are well on their way to following in the footsteps of their famous fathers after leading the latest batch of standouts in the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska which concluded on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
The three-day camp drew 72 boys and girls from regional selection camps and culminated on Sunday with the event attended by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton, WNBA All-Star Sue Wicks and NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo.
Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program, taught campers fundamental basketball skills and helped with building character and promoting the active lifestyle for the young aspiring cagers. Payton and Wicks joined Jr. NBA coaches Chris Summer and Jeffrey Cariaso in conducting the camp.
Among the campers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, 16 were chosen as these year’s All-Stars. Among the eight boys, Kenji and Echo, the 14-year-old sons of former PBA cagers Kenneth Duremdes and Eddie Laure respectively, led the awardees. Joining them are Kenji’s La Salle Greenhills teammates Jan Clement Macalalag and Victorino Torres.
Johndel Austria, 13, of Escuela de Sophia-Caloocan; Ian Dominic Espinosa, 13, of Ateneo de Iloilo; Reinhard Jumanoy, 13, of University of San Carlos-North Campus; and Jeryk Dwight Bait, 14, of St. Francis National High School in Lucena rounded out the 2017 Jr. NBA boys All-Stars.
The girls selected as Jr. NBA All-Stars are composed of Boni Marylene Solis, 12; Jane Araza, 13, and Jeehan Nikaela Ahmed, 13, of Chiang Kai Shek College; Jazmine Ann Maniquis, 13, of St. Paul Pasig; Lindsey Nacional, 13, of La Salle College Antipolo; Camille Nolasco, 14, of Miriam College; and Chinnsai Demana, 13, of the University of the Visayas in Cebu.
Meanwhile, Catrina June Biongcog of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan and Jed Cabellon of Southwestern Univerrsity of Cebu were selected as the Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 Coaches of the Year.
Duremdes was also named Jr. NBA MVP for the boys while Solis took the honor for the girls.
On the other hand, Laure received the Alaska Ambassador award for the boys, and Nolasco got the nod for the girls.
Other players who also received special awards were Mariela Avila of Lucena and Zean Paolo Moreno of Cagayan De Oro for the Panasonic Rising S.T.A.R. Award; Nolasco and Espinosa as Cloudfone All-Star Players of the Game; Princess Delig of Cebu and Austria for the Gatorade Hustle Award; Yza Camila Alarcon of Manila and Maverick John Vieto of Lucena got the Globe Telecom Sportsmanship Award;
The Jr. NBA All-Stars together with the Coaches of the Year will be rewarded with an overseas NBA experience later this year and will be joined by fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia.
The National Training Camp showcased the fifth edition of the Jr. NBA All-Star alumni game hosting several past Jr. NBA All-Stars who have ascended in the amateur and collegiate ranks, and staged the first ever alumni homecoming of the Jr. NBA Philippines program.