Athletes Rave Over NBA Experience

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Published: December 13, 2016 5:51 pm AST
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Katasha Melville, Mahkayla Pickering, Demoi Bradley, Omar Walker, Jason Edwin and Shauliqua Fahie, enjoyed an NBA Authentic Experience in New York
Photo Credit: Provided
The four young basketball players who got the opportunity to travel to New York City, December 6-11, compliments of the NBA, returned from their five day trip, all noting how amazing the experience was.

Mahkayla Pickering, Demoi Bradley, Omar Walker and Shauliqua Fahie, chaperoned by their coach, Jason Edwin, met with their regional counterparts, Antigua and Barbuda Barbados, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos Islands for the experience.

The players got the opportunity to see the Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks game, toured the NBA office and met NBA Legends Corey Maggette, Allison Feaster, Drew Gooden, Stacey Lovelace, Brian Cardinal and Troy Murphy. They also visited an NBA store, toured the city, participated in scrimmages and played in a game against Rutgers Prep.

“For me, it was a very amazing experience,” Mahkayla Pickering said. “I did things I never thought I’d do like being on a subway going to an NBA game. That game was just amazing, better than on television, you could feel it, feel the crowd, the energy. The Rockefeller Center, amazingly high and the cold, that’s on a different level.”

Mahkayla expressed it was great to see her favorite team, the Cleveland Cavaliers play, especially seeing Kyrie Irwin in action and LeBron James dunking on opponents. “That was real. Seeing it on TV, I think it’s just entertainment but seeing it in person; I knew it’s real.”

Omar Walker described seeing an NBA game live, as one of the highlights of his trip. “Seeing the players play in real life is not the same as actually seeing them playing on TV, they move a lot faster. Kyrie Irvin looks more amazing in real life than on TV; the TV doesn’t do him justice.”

Demoi Bradley said it was like a dream. “I really couldn’t believe it when I saw LeBron James walk out on the court, but it was a magnificent experience—better than watching it on television.”

Shauliqua Fahie expressed similar sentiments. “It’s an experience I’ll never forget".

Between their departure and return, coach Jason Edwin said he could see how each of the players matured, by the specific questions they asked the professionals and he thinks it cemented their idea of what it will take to get to the next level.

Katasha Melville, a Digicel marketing and sponsorship executive said it was not only about basketball, but experiencing the USA culture and she liked that the players had the opportunity to speak with NBA legends.

“I was telling a parent, that even after basketball, even after you’re not being picked for a team, what’s next and the legends were able to address that.”

She said, “The legends were all working in the NBA office—still a part of the game but from another standpoint. They also stressed the importance of education and, that it goes together with the game. If you want to succeed in the game, you must focus on your studies and school work so, that was very important.”
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