Thursday, April 21, 2016

Norris Cole and Taj McWilliams-Franklin visits Manila

Norris Cole of the New Orleans Pelicans and WNBA Champion Taj McWilliams-Franklin travelled to Manila to participate in the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 National Training Camp.  Cole and McWilliams-Franklin helped the coach participants from around the country vying to be named 2016 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA All-Stars.  The National Training Camp which was held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute April 22-23 and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on April 24.

Cole and McWilliams-Franklin joined Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Head Coach Craig Brown to coach the 2016 finalists at the National Training Camp and will also serve as coaches for the annual Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game featuring past Jr. NBA standouts.  This year’s program has reached a record 20,000 players and coaches across the country.

I had a chance to attend the press conference and I was able to meet them where they answered a few questions from the media.

Norris Cole looked up to Michael Jordan on videos as a kid, he played basketball LeBron James, and had the chance to play against , Kobe Bryant, in the NBA.

When asked about Michael Jordan he said that he watched a lot of Michael Jordan growing up and  he still watches a lot of MIchael Jordan. He said that  Michael Jordan is in a class of his own, That he doesn't want to  put anybody up there with him.

Cole is a first-time Manila visitor as part of the Jr. NBA Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 National Training Camp presented by Alaska. 

Cole shifted from football  to basketball  to pursue a career in professional sports.

"Basketball was the best chance for me to be a professional athlete so it was important for me to have that basketball experience from college and it was a chance for me to play Division 1 basketball with Cleveland State under Coach Gary Waters,” he told us during the press conference 

What was surprising is that the 27-year old Cole is a member of the National Honor Society and was the salutatorian of his high school class at Dunbar High School where he played with former NBA player Daequan Cook.

 WNBA All-Star, was selected 32nd overall in the 1999 WNBA Draft. Taj McWilliams-Franklin spent 14 seasons in the WNBA, playing for the Orlando Miracle, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, Detroit Shock, New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx. 

She is a woman after my own heart she's just like a typical mom and wife who always want to be both because she can.Taj Mcwilliams, is now coaching and imparting her skills to her students. Juggling her time with coaching and her family, shows that her passion can be on both

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska culminates with the National Training Camp, which provides the top 50 boys and top 24 girls with the opportunity to train with and compete against their peers. 

The finalists were selected from Regional Selection Camp participants from Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila. At the end of the National Training Camp, 10 boys and five girls will be selected as Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars and will travel on an overseas NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia. The program will also feature the selections of the 2016 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Coaches of the Year, who will join the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars on the experience trip.
The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 33 countries.

Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA is presented by Alaska. CloudFone, Gatorade, and Globe Telecom serve as Official Partners of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA in the Philippines, while Spalding is a Supporting Partner. ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the Official NBA Broadcasters of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA in the Philippines.

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