Shooting for the stars: Wolverhampton College launches basketball project

Youngsters can shoot hoops thanks to partnership.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS & STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 04/04/2021 - Wolverhampton basketball club - SLAM Basketball Club / SLAM! Academy Scholars has a partnership with Wolverhampton College and is developing an elite basketball academy with a focus on education for Basketball and academic studies to help young people make the journey and look at the two together, with a focus on having them go to an American university. Run by Douaine Anderson who runs the scholarship alongside it. In Picture: Tristan Price 13.
WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS & STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 04/04/2021 - Wolverhampton basketball club - SLAM Basketball Club / SLAM! Academy Scholars has a partnership with Wolverhampton College and is developing an elite basketball academy with a focus on education for Basketball and academic studies to help young people make the journey and look at the two together, with a focus on having them go to an American university. Run by Douaine Anderson who runs the scholarship alongside it. In Picture: Tristan Price 13.

Young people who fancy themselves as budding basketball stars are being offered the opportunity to sign up for places with a special academy being developed through a partnership between a club and Wolverhampton College.

The man behind the Slam Scholar academy scheme is Douaine Anderson, aged 40, from Wolverhampton, who is one of two local people to play basketball at professional level in America.

A maths teacher, Dwayne gained a basketball scholarship to America and has also played for the Birmingham Bullets and Worcester Wolves, and is now keen to encourage young people to follow his example.

His mentor was Spencer Dunkley, who was also a schoolboy from Wolverhampton and was drafted the the National Basketball Association in 1993, and who has helped fund the project being developed with Wolverhampton Basketball Club.

This will see 15 young people provided with the opportunity of travelling to America to get a taste of basketball training and to see the work done in colleges, enabling them to follow their dreams by gaining basketball scholarships and becoming professional players.

Malachi Walker-Hines, 17, in action for Slam Basketball Club.

Douaine, who has now become a part-time lecturer in mathematics to enable him to deliver the inspiration and coaching involved, is keen to persuade businesses and sporting organisations to help provide funding for the project.

He said: "Covid dependent I hope to take a group of 15 young people to America next summer.

"Next Easter we will be going to Bulgaria to take part in basketball camps with an excellent professional who was a team-mate in America.

"Basketball is a brilliant, fun sport and fast paced and good for health and you need intelligence as you have to make quick decisions in a short space of time.

Jaden Marsh, 16.

"At the moment we have only been able to do one-to-one coaching because of Covid restrictions.

"I have been holding online sessions and using teaching expertise to pass on skills and set challenges.

"Last Monday was the first opportunity for amateur sport outdoors but on April 12 this can go back indoors.

"I am hoping that through sport I can encourage young people to take education seriously, respect their families and build their experience and team-working.

The college has launched the partnership.

"When I was young there was barely any basketball development and I had to travel to Birmingham to get the right level of coaching.

"There is a massive demand but it is a case of being able to facilitate that and not all youngsters have been able to access the service."

The father-of-four plans to hold a basketball skills camp for under-18s at the college's Wellington Road campus for one week from April 12 and anyone interested in taking part or in sponsoring the academy is asked visit the slambasketball.club website for further information.

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