WNBA All-Star Sue Wicks, 50, was one of the basketball superstars present during the culminating activity of the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City, Philippines, on May 14, Sunday. In an interview, I asked her about basketball being considered as a male sport.
Wicks pointed out that basketball is a national sport both in the Philippines and in the United States. She said, "You want to see your kids involved in sports that they can see role models on television, something that can be excited about."
With sports, kids can stay active and out of trouble and they get great values and life lessons, Wicks added. She concluded, "We can't say it's male or female. We want our boys and our girls, our women and our men, to be great citizens."
Aside from Wicks, the culminating activity of the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA Philippines was also attended by Orlando Magic's Elfrid Payton, 30, and retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, 50.
Among the standouts during the event were Kenji Duremdes, 14, and Echo Laure, 14. The former is the son of former PBA player Kenneth Duremdes while the latter is the son of another retired professional basketball player Eddie Laure.
Jr. NBA, the league's global youth basketball program, taught campers fundamental basketball skills and helped with building character and promoting the active lifestyle for the young aspiring cagers. Payton and Wicks joined Jr. NBA coaches Chris Summer and Jeffrey Cariaso in conducting the camp.
Including Kenji and Echo, 16 kids were chosen as this year's All-Stars. The other chosen boys were Kenji's La Salle Greenhills teammates Jan Clement Macalalag and Victorino Torres, as well as Jeryk Dwight Bait of St. Francis National High School in LucenaJohndel Austria of Escuela de Sophia-Caloocan, Reinhard Jumanoy of University of San Carlos-North Campus and Ian Dominic Espinosa of Ateneo de Iloilo.
The chosen girls are Camille Nolasco of Miriam College, Chinnsai Demana of the University of the Visayas in Cebu, Lindsey Nacional of La Salle College Antipolo and Jazmine Ann Maniquis of St. Paul Pasig as well as Jeehan Nikaela Ahmed, Boni Marylene Solis and Jane Araza of Chiang Kai Shek College. Here is a video of Wicks: