ST. THOMAS – On Friday, the basketball court at Alvin McBean Complex was packed with supportive parents, coaches and children of all ages who came to participate in the Basketball Fundamentals Clinic “CHI in the V.I.” hosted by the Sports, Parks and Recreations Department and the Great Adventure organization.
In anticipation of their Pee Wee 6- 12 Coed Basketball League, which was scheduled to start Saturday but was rained out, SP&R provided training before starting league play.
The league is named in honor of Derek Heyliger and Venise Fraser.
“CHI in the V.I.” is a program founded by the Great Adventure Fundamentals Basketball camp that takes place each summer at Boschulte Middle School and directed by St. Thomas natives Wayne Harvey and Keith Jamal Brewley.
Great Adventure is Giants 55 Tim Lincecum Road Cool Base Grey 2010 All Star Jerseys a youth organization started by the late Peter Goodwin, who from the early ’80s until his passing in 2001, placed many V.I. youths in high school basketball programs throughout the mainland U.S. with opportunities to matriculate into college basketball programs.
Both Harvey and Brewley were beneficiaries and successes of the Great Adventure program and efforts by Goodwin.
In 2001, after Goodwin’s passing, Harvey, Brewley and other athletes that were part of Great Adventure as students decided to keep the organization active and took up the mission to provide opportunities and training for V.I. youth. Harvey now serves as the President of the Great Adventure Enterprises.
Fast forward to Friday evening, Marquis Adams and Shaun Glover of the Small Fry Windy City Outlaws of Chicago were the guest trainers. This year, Adams and Glover coached the Outlaws to the 2013 Small Fry International Championship held in Orlando, Fla. Two years ago, that was where they 2010 MLB All Star met Harvey and the V.I. Jaguars Small Fry team. The V.I. Jaguars won the consolation game of this year’s tournament.
Brewley lives in Chicago, a hotbed of basketball talent, where the sport is a thriving industry, and where he has trained or worked with some of the best talent in the city. He saw an opportunity to introduce great training to V.I. youth through their summer camp, and every week, trainers share valuable life and basketball lessons with campers.
On this evening, Adams and Glover put the participants through a rigid two-hour regimen that included dribbling, shooting, layups, defense, agility and strengthening. Parents were excited, local coaches on the sidelines were encouraging and the spirit at McBean Complex was jovial.
According to Pee Wee League Coordinator Elizabeth Rivera, the clinic was awesome and “is needed on a monthly basis not just during the summer.”
Rivera also said the level of intensity and drilling the participants went through was like a boot camp, and that the volunteers is what allows the Pee Wee League to be successful.
Regular season games will be played every Saturday and Wednesday until Sept. 14, and feature six teams. The All-Star game will be played September 21.
For information regarding the Pee Wee League, call 774-0255. For details on the Great Adventure Fundamentals Basketball Camp, call 513-8740.