Young Pinay players can learn from WNBA stars in virtual program

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2021 03:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Young Filipina players have a chance to learn from current and former stars of the WNBA through the NBA Academy Women's Virtual Program, the league announced on Wednesday.

The eight-week basketball and leadership development program is available to 40 of the top female, high school age (14-17 years old) prospects from outside the United States.

Participants will get to connect with their peers from around the world, and take part in basketball and life skills development programming under the guidance of current and former WNBA players and the NBA Academy staff. 

Parents and/or legal guardians who are interested in submitting an application on behalf of their child should submit their child's HomeCourt profile, or upload a skills video as outlined in the application form on the NBA Academy website.

The participants will be announced later this month, with the program starting in July and running through August.

As part of the program's on-court curriculum, participants will receive weekly virtual basketball lessons, instructions and challenges featuring current and former WNBA players. 

The interactive lessons will include a variety of shooting, ball handling and conditioning drills to promote holistic skill development. The top performing athletes will be considered for future in-person basketball development camps and showcases. 

The life skills programming will feature weekly sessions centered on leadership development, nutrition, goal setting, personal branding, mental health and wellness, player pathway education and women's empowerment.

Sessions will feature guest speakers and experts from across the NBA and WNBA family, including NBA Academy Women's Program global technical director and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Azzi. 

"The NBA Academy Women's Virtual Program will continue our mission of helping young women around the world develop as people and players," said Azzi.

"International players are making a significant impact at all levels of the women's game, and this program will help top international prospects connect with their peers, learn directly from WNBA players and continue their development."

Since the NBA Academy Women's Program launched in 2018, 25 participants have committed to NCAA Division I schools. 

China's Han Xu became the first NBA Academy Women's Program participant to be drafted into the WNBA when she was selected 14th overall by the New York Liberty in the 2019 WNBA Draft.