An NBA trainer is teaching local basketball youth that “ball is life”.
Mihai Radicanu’s Elite Training Basketball Camp is underway at the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre, coaching kids ages 12-to-18 the fundamentals.
Radicanu has played for the Canadian National Junior team and has worked with NCAA, CIS, OCAA, and USport teams.
He also acts as a director of NBA Pre-Draft training.
Radicanu tells Mix News the biggest issue facing basketball communities around the world is a lack of knowledge from those teaching the game.
“The number of people that base training and coaching on one-on-one moves and scoring and that’s not the purpose of the game. You have to learn how to pass, how to play defense and how to move without the ball and that’s not being taught.”
Kids at the camp are learning skills like dribbling, passing, setting up screens, playing defense and shooting.
Radicanu says they’re working to give these young athletes the tools they need to be capable basketball players.
“Our job as coaches is to make sure we give these kids the entire package – the whole knowledge from the ground up. We want to make sure they get the information they need so they can become the best they can be. You never know how good you can be unless you work and you get the right information.”
One of Radicanu’s pupils is 2019 NBA Draft pick Deividas Sirvydis of Lithuania – who was drafted 37th overall by the Dallas Mavericks.
As for Fort McMurray, he really likes what he’s seen out of the local talent.
“They’re switched on and they’re ready to go and they’re very attentive and they’re tired, maybe a bit out of shape, this might be the hardest workout they’ve ever done but we’re teaching them through resiliency, perspective, and understanding where you are and where you need to go.”
Radicanu will be wrapping the camp up with a keynote speech at Keyano College Wednesday at 5 p.m.