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“Dominate in the paint.” Ultimately this was the goal of the Elite Big Man camp that unfolded over the weekend hosted by former national basketball captain Kibwe Trim at the International School of Port-of-Spain (ISPS) facility in Westmoorings.

The focus of course was on post players (centres, power forwards) and the 25 athletes that had the privilege to be part of the two-day event emerged even more knowledgeable on the importance of the “inside presence” in the sport of basketball.

“I was totally happy with the turnout of players. I did not expect it,” said Trim. “All the kids that signed up showed up. It was a great success.”

The camp involved male players mainly over the height of six-feet, five inches that play in the post area. Players got the opportunity to work with Trim, who has excelled at all levels of professional competition playing in the post.

Each player also got the individual attention of five other coaches including Robert Moore of Columbus State University and Daytona State College’s Patrick O’Grady as well as national youth coaches Jamal Duke and Albert Sprott along with Stefan Dillon and Kern George. Both players and coaches benefitted from the experience.

“The local coaches were familiar with the players so it was easy for us to connect with them. They too were able to show what they know and also got a chance to learn from the foreign coaches as did the players. The coaches were be able to pick up new drills, fundamentals, and strategies that will give them an edge over the competition.”

The camp was used to teach vital skills to youngsters and help them improve on their fundamentals and advance their techniques to dominate in the paint. With the success of venture, local players are being looked upon as prospects to attain scholarships to play and study abroad.

“They (coaches) were very interested in two players so they are exploring the possibility now,” said Trim, who also began his career similarly through a programme at ISPS that allowed him to travel with a team from Trinidad to the USA to play in a summer tournament and from there he received a scholarship to attend university.

Trim is a former Sacred Heart University player, who played five years at Division 1 NCAA level. He was red-shirted his sophomore year but returned to be an All Conference player, with honours of being a Conference leading scorer and rebounder, field goal percentage leader and Academic All American.

As promised, the participants all received basketball shoes thanks to the contribution of Sole Brothers Foundation. Sole Brothers is a charitable organisation based in Los Angeles, California in the US. “The plan is to grow this camp annually and to provide a consistent platform whereby young talented big men can be seen by university coaches abroad and that they can have the chance to receive scholarships.”

Trim was grateful for the support he received to make the camp a reality. “I want to thank the Sportt Company of T&T, ISPS for the venue and Nadine Khan, who got a lot of stuff done for me. Without her help the camp would not have been possible,” he said.

Tomorrow though the action heads to the Cruise Ship Complex on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, where the DreamChaser International Foundation fundraising dinner will occur from 6 pm.

The event will be hosted by Sunny Bling with guest performances by Mark Hardy and Yung Rudd, among others. There will be door prizes and raffle giveaways. Tickets, at the cost of $300, are still available.

Rachael King

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