NBA player Collin Sexton is in Manila for the Jr. NBA Philippines.
Collin Sexton shares his love for basketball with pinoy kids
REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay (The Philippine Star) - May 28, 2019 - 12:00am

The Jr. NBA Philippines, presented by Alaska, is committed to improving the health and wellness of the youth. It also highlights the importance of proper nutrition and an active lifestyle to its participants.

Launched in 2007, it has reached an estimated two million players, coaches and parents in over 190 cities and municipalities nationwide, teaching the fundamentals of basketball and the programs core values of sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude and respect. 

During the 2018-2019 season, the NBA and its teams plan to reach more than 51 million youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges and other outreach events.

In line with this, the league brought in Collin Sexton to help teach the kids at the camp, and to serve as an inspiration to these budding stars.

Sexton was drafted eighth overall in the 2018 season by the Cleveland Cavaliers and averaged 16.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

Philippine STAR: I was having dinner with my son. When he showed me a photo of his friend getting off the plane with you. Is it surreal to fly halfway around the world and people know who you are?

Collin Sexton: It’s great. The first thing I felt though was the heat, it’s totally different. But the fan base here is very important. I know basketball is big here, so just me interacting with a lot of my fans, hanging there with them, it’s going to be good.

Are you surprised about basketball being so big here?

Not surprised, because all around the world, it’s grown! I came here for a reason, and the players here are good, too. I know that this event is good for the players, so they can get noticed. 

How does it feel to be given the chance to share your knowledge and basketball skills to the youth? Is it something you really want to do?

Absolutely! It’s very exciting for me! I take pride in this just because growing up, I wanted to be that role model, to come in, talk to the kids, give back my time. You’ve been in that place and interacting with the kids is great.

You’ve made a great transition from college to the NBA, what would you attribute that to?

Just my nutrition, just to make sure to take care of my body each and every day. The NBA is my dream. Alaska is a sponsor of this program, so nutrition is big. You can’t do what you want unless you take care of your body first. So, it helped the transition.

What are the things you’re looking at to improve? 

As years go on, just continue to get better all around. I know that I have to improve on a lot of things but each summer you have to focus on one thing to help you separate from the previous season. I’m working on my three-point shot and my shooting just because the NBA now is all about threes and shooting.

How special was winning the gold medal with Team USA in the Under-17 World Cup?

Winning the gold medal felt so amazing. That’s why you see NBA guys playing for their country, it’s a different feeling.

What goals are you setting for yourself?

Just to keep getting better. And having a long career, making sure to stay healthy each season. As for team goals, I wanna make the playoffs and after that, see where we can go. 

Advice for the young kids?

Just keep working each and every day. When you think no one is watching and nobody is looking, just keep working and keep improving. I know sometimes it may feel like no one can see your hard work, but in the end it will pay off. All those guys ahead of you now, you’ll be better than then four to five years from now. Just just keep working.

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Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @anthonysuntay.

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