by Brian Yalung
Camille Nolasco of the Philippines overshot her dreams of representing the country when she was selected to be one of the members for the Asia Pacific girls team for the Jr. NBA Global Championship slated to take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida from August 6 to 11.
The 14-year-old student from Miriam College was one of ten cagebelles selected out of a field of 34.
“Dream ko po talaga. Gusto ko talaga ma-represent yung Philippines. Thanks to Jr. NBA, nabigyan nila ng opportunities ang mga young athletes.” said Nolasco in an interview with the Manila Bulletin.
At first, Camille seemed content making the PH roster to the Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Selection Camp staged last June 15-16 at the Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Standing only 5-foot-3, it was her on-court wizardry that caught the eye of international coaches on hand.
“Natuwa ata yung mga international coaches kay Camille. Kasi kung titignan mo, mallit siya compared sa iba. Pero sabi ko nga sa kanya na kahit 10-times bigger sayo yan, kaya mo ang mga yan,” said proud father Myk Nolasco in an exclusive interview with Manila Bulletin Sports.
According to the elder Nolasco, it was Camille’s smart basketball smarts at the point guard position that captured the attention of the international coaches in Jakarta.
“Siguro sa mga babae, siya kasi yung bihira na nagse-set ng plays. Nakitaan din siya ng potential sa point guard position. Favorite nga po siya ng mga international coaches. Yung pinaka head coach ng lahat po, si coach Carlos (Barroca), niyakap siya and sinabi na ‘You are my favorite point guard’,” narrated Nolasco.
The camp featured 68 participants from 10 countries across the region – with players from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam – and focus on technical and tactical skills development in addition to the five-on-five competition.
This will only be the second time that the Jr. NBA Asia-Pacific team will set foot on the global stage. Last year, there was no Filipina in the 10-girl roster.
Before she left for Indonesia, Camille had a message to all aspiring athletes.
“To all aspiring athletes out there, don’t let your fears stop you from reaching your dreams.”
Tags: Brian Yalung, Camille Nolasco, Carlos Barroca, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Indonesia, Jr. NBA, Jr. NBA Global Championship, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Sports, Myk Nolasco, Rhia Nolasco