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Chambers Encouraged By U19s At Assessment Camp



From December 18-22, Canada Basketball held their national age-group assessment camp in Toronto, ON for perspective U19 Juniors.

The camp, which took place at Humber College, was a precursor to the official team tryouts likely to begin taking place in the Spring and saw many of Canada’s elite put through drills in order to give evaluators an idea of where things stand well before next summer’s FIBA competitions.

Rich Chambers of Port Moody, BC was one of the Coaches putting the U19 players through their paces. He relished the opportunity he was given, and was encouraged by what he saw.

“It was a developmental camp and also an assessment camp. So, we’re identifying talent, who will play on what teams, so I think for the girls, it gives them a outstanding yardstick of where they stand against the best players in the country,” began Chambers, looking back over the previous three days. “It was a great experience. We got the best kids in the country that were available at this time. There’s a tremendous amount of size. A lot of potential.”

Many of the U19 hopefuls under Chambers’ watchful eye were members of the same Cadettes that won the Bronze Medal at the FIBA World Championships earlier this year. And, despite their international experience and having already gone through a similar process already, he noticed that regardless, there was a lot to ingest in a short period of time.

“It was an overwhelming experience for some of them, as in the three days, we just loaded them up with information. But, it was a great opportunity for them to gauge where they are at.”

Coach Rich Chambers keeps a watchful eye as Junior National team hopeful, Sami Hill, completes drill.

Canada Basketball has yet to make their Final decision on exactly who will be on the Junior National Team Coaching Staff. Regardless, it appears that Chambers and the other Coaches that were on hand will likely be relied upon quite heavily for their player assessments regardless of what that final decision will be.

He was quick to point out, that the mechanics behind how the final twelve will be selected, may not be as obvious as some would think.

“I think, you don’t always take the twelve best players. You pick a group of girls that that are going to make the best team. Our job as the Junior and Cadette Coaches, we want to develop athletes for the Senior Team. We want to get athletes that are going to come from our programs at the lower levels and make the transition to the Senior Team a smooth one. One that will get us back to the 2016 Olympics. And that’s our primary goal, to develop talent that’s going to make the senior team better and give them a chance to qualify.”

Now that this Camp has completed, players will need to continue the intensity of their training and development between now and the follow up Camp. Not only will they be going back to their high school and/or rep teams to continue playing in seasons that may have just begun or that will get under way shortly, they also have to improve on the specific items targeted by the assessment committee at the camp.

Video review, skills assessment and performance improvement checklists will need to be part of the training regiment for these girls between now and the Spring to aid those that will make the squad.

“The main thing is that they have to take what was given to them at this camp and they have to go back to their programs, threir clubs, their schools and they have to improve. Most of them are targetted athletes, so they have to get themselves developped. They have to work with Coaches and improve their game from now until the next camp in March and the next Camp in July.

Chambers is a wily veteran of the Canada’s international travails. And, he believes he has a pulse already of what it will take for this U19 team to realize their potential yet again.