Langley’s Trevor Duffin (#3) at the UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA event at Langley Events Centre on Aug. 19. photo courtesy of Under Armour

Best young B.C. basketball players congegate in Langley

The UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA held at Langley Events Centre

Stay grounded, stay humble and keep working.

Those were among the words of advice from Justin Jackson to some of the top U14 male and female basketball players from around B.C.

Jackson, an NBA 2018 second-round draft pick of the Denver Nuggets subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic, was speaking at the UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA on Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre. He was joined by former WNBA player Stacey Lovelace.

The assembled teens – 26 male and 25 female – were at the event by invitation only, selected to showcase their skill set, and learn what it will take to succeed in the next chapters of their respective basketball journeys.

“There are a lot of talented kids out here and I am seeing them do a lot of advanced things, making the right reads and the right moves, and things like that, so it shows there is a lot of special talent here and with that talent, you just have to keep working hard,” Jackson said.

“Talent can only bring you so far, but it is hard work and work ethic which brings you to another level.”

The event featured the same state-of-the art circuit used during the NBA draft and the invitees – who were outfitted in Under Armour gear – went through an interactive combine experience, using digital extensions alongside skill instruction from clinicians designed to help them excel at the high school level.

There were also scrimmages and an opportunity to pose with the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the grand prize in the NBA, as well as a Q and A session with Jackson and Lovelace.

“Do what you do best and what you are good at and the right people will notice,” Jackson said. “That is something I have lived by from the beginning of my career.”

Jackson, who is from Toronto and was drafted after two seasons with the University of Maryland, said players need to keep steady and never place too much importance on one game or event.

“I just try and treat everything the same, like I am on the playground playing with my friends and stuff like that. I try not to put anything too high on a pedestal. You got noticed and invited here for a reason and whatever you did (to earn that), just keep doing that,” he said.

Lovelace, who had a seven-year WNBA career after playing at Purdue University, said players need to treat practice like they would studying for an exam.

“Embrace practice. If you put effort into your preparation, you will go in (to a game) feeling much more confident,” she said.

Great practice habits will help a player feel strongly in their preparation, so when it comes time to perform on the court, they will go in feeling confident.

Some of the teens admitted to nerves when the event began late Sunday morning, but by the end there were plenty of smiles.

“It has been great. We learned a lot,” said Langley’s Trevor Duffin. “When we were talking to Justin (Jackson) and Stacey (Lovelace), it was really good for the mental aspect of the game. It really gets you thinking.”

“This was a good experience,” added Chilliwack’s Julia Tuchscherer. “It has all been pretty cool.”

This marks the second year of the combine, but this was the first time it was held in B.C. Following this event, it will make stops in Toronto and Montreal.

 

Abbotsford’s Jaylen Lee at the UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA event at Langley Events Centre on Aug. 19. photo courtesy of Under Armour

Chilliwack’s Julia Tuchscherer at the UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA event at Langley Events Centre on Aug. 19. photo courtesy of Under Armour

Surrey’s Ravjeet Randhwawa at the UA Next Combine Series Powered by Jr. NBA event at Langley Events Centre on Aug. 19. photo courtesy of Under Armour

Just Posted

Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

Heritage proposal for Aldergrove fire hall at a ‘standstill’

The Alder Grove Heritage Society faces a delay in knowing the fate of the fire hall due to tenants slated to live in the building until 2020.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

Langley Secondary students rehearse upcoming musical comedy

The Langley Secondary Musical Theatre Company presents Guys and Dolls on Feb. 22.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

Vancouver crash leaves driver dead, 2 in hospital

Police are investigating what happened in 2-vehicle crash

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read