WATERLOO, July 5, 2019 — Parents and children of Waterloo, Ont. were up bright and early on Saturday morning as the National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program (NBYMP) strolled into town to deliver their two day Workshop  on June 22-23. 

The Workshop, held at Wilfred Laurier University’s Athletic Complex, was just one of many in the NBYMP’s circuit of summer workshops across Ontario. Waterloo’s Workshop drew many young athletes, eager to hone and develop not only their basketball skills, but also their life skills, a unique learning experience that makes this camp special. 

As mentioned in their name, the NBYMP takes a holistic approach to offer mentorship to youth, promising both on-court development and off-court life lessons that can be vital to a child’s maturation. 

Last weekend’s Workshop had an even mix of basketball skill development and mentorship, starting Saturday morning with a number of skill-development drills on the court to begin the day leading up to lunch. 

After lunch, Naomi Zitt-James (Mental Performance Consultant), paid the youth a special visit to teach them about the psychology behind focusing and developing their game. Afterwards, the group had a round-table discussion with the NBYMP coaches/mentors where they were able to ask about all things basketball, life or anything in between.  

Sunday was also filled to the brim with activities for the youth to engage in. On top of more on-court development from the NBYMP’s professional coaches, the children received a financial literacy seminar from Nathaniel Gardner about how to make and save their money effectively.

The day closed out with another scrimmage before the workshop concluded with the awards ceremony. Congratulations to Peterson (NBYMP Mentee) for winning the coveted Paul Crawford Award of Excellence.

For the NBYMP’s professional athletes / mentors, Silvana Jez, Dani Elgadi and Jabs Newby, being able to help out at this workshop meant a lot to them.
“I felt it was so important to help out today because it’s a big opportunity with the position I’m in,” Elgadi said. “I was once one of those young kids looking forward to getting better, meeting great basketball players. Now that I’m in a position to give back in the same way, how could I say no?”

Jez says that having professionals for children to look up to at these Workshops makes it that much more important to help out. “As a kid, you just look up to them and then it just makes you more motivated to want to be like them and then now we’re able to instill all the qualities that we have and help them out.”
Newby believes that the NBYMP is a special program, enhancing children’s basketball development in ways that benefit them in the long run.

“Not only does it help players on the court, but also off the court when it comes to mental aspects of the game and also just helping players understand financially how money benefits playing basketball.”

The NBYMP is headed to Oshawa next for their four day basketball workshop from July 15-18th. Sign up at nbymp.ca.