Kuala Lumpur, 27 October 2016 – Two Malaysian 14-year-olds reached one step closer to their dreams recently, when they were handpicked and presented the opportunity of a lifetime: to watch the first-ever NBA Global Games live in Shenzhen, China.
Phang Xin Ying from Kluang, Johor, and Sin Chun Kit from Pandan Indah, Kuala Lumpur, were selected as the Most Valuable Players (MVP) for the 2016 Jr. NBA Malaysia programme Presented by Dutch Lady to witness the electrifying match between the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers, at the Shenzhen Universiade Centre.
Phang and Sin were among the 10 boys and five girls who were named 2016 Jr. NBA Malaysia All-Stars and provided with the unique overseas NBA Experience to Shanghai. The opportunity to watch a live NBA game is part of the commitment of Jr. NBA Malaysia 2016 presented by Dutch Lady to provide its top participants with a fun, enriching NBA experience.
The duo, who were both visiting China for the first time, said that the trip to Shanghai was by far one of the best moments of their lives.
“I’m really happy that I got to watch a live NBA match and learn how they work as a team. I learned that each player matters in the game,” said Phang.
Sin echoed his teammate’s sentiments: “Being able to see the game live, I was able to capture the skills and formation of the NBA players.” He added that he also enjoyed being able to meet and make new friends, train with them and at the same time, have the opportunity to travel around Shenzhen.
The Malaysia All-Stars were joined by the 88 top Jr. NBA performers, aged between 10 to 14 years old from countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
As part of the trip, the group also had the opportunity to play friendly exhibition games at Dongguan Basketball School, meet NBA legend and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, and explore the local landmarks in China such as the Dongguan Xiangxi Zoo and the Dongguan Central Square.
When asked how they prepared for the trip and the prior selection process, the Malaysia All-Stars admitted that their days were quite hectic and tiring.
“I usually train 3-4 hours a day at school. I start with warm-ups and stretching, to avoid cramps. After that, I play a game or two with my teammates,” said Sin. Phang also follows a similar regime and trains for about two hours every day.
Diet certainly plays an important part of the training for these young stars. Phang shared that he always eats plenty of vegetables and fruits, while Sin explained that he usually consumes food that is rich in protein such as chicken, fish, and his favourite Dutch Lady’s chocolate milk.
They admitted that while it was challenging to juggle between their studies and basketball training, they were determined to achieve bigger and better dreams in basketball – one of which is being selected as the 2016 Jr. NBA Malaysia All-Stars MVPs.
Coincidentally, both share the same role model – American professional basketballer Stephen Curry, who plays for the Golden State Warrior and is regarded by many as the greatest shooter in NBA history.
Asked to give a word of advice to aspiring youth athletes in Malaysia, Sin said seriously: “Train consistently and take part in competitions while you are still young. Make new friends to exchange knowledge, experience and match skills.”
“I wish them all the best and hope they keep pursuing their dreams!” added Phang.
This was the third year that the Jr. NBA – the NBA’s international youth development programme that promotes basketball participation and an active lifestyle among children – was held in Malaysia, with Dutch Lady as the presenting partner. Participants were trained in the fundamentals of basketball and learn the importance of the Jr. NBA core values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect (S.T.A.R.).
The programme is free and open to boys and girls between 5 and 14 years old. Players between the ages of 10 to 14 will be eligible for top selection to participate in the National Training Camp.
For more information, visit http://jrnba.asia/malaysia