14th December 2014
AFTER winning a competition creating a video with the idea for ‘Paying the FEE’. The University of Chester Basketball won a day in the company of the basketball legend that is John Amaechi.
Arriving in style Amaechi pulled up on the Chester campus in his Range Rover on a crisp sunday morning. Club captain Niel Gillard and Club Communications Officer Ethan Wade went out to meet him attempting to hold in their excitement of what the day would behold.
After a short introduction Amaechi was shown up the stairs of the university sports centre. 9am came and began the coach’s conference where local coaches and organisers from around the area could quiz and learn from the former NBA player. Discussions of the current standard we are as a nation are, in terms of development and ability enlightened many in the hidden ability hiding in plain sight we have. Some would say Amaechi’s theories are rogue and unorthodox to Basketball England’s methods, however it was clear that none of those were in this discussion as the theories we as interesting as they were spot on.
Amaechi talked a lot to the coaches about them and their benefits to the youth who look to them for inspiration, he said:
“I don’t use exercise as a punishment. I used exercise to improve fitness, and I don’t want my players to associate exercise with punishment as that isn’t beneficial to either the session or exercise.”
Using facts when talking about child protection, 75% of children are caused severe psychological harm in practice. To see the coaches reactions of disbelief was assuring for sure, Amaechi used their renewed minds and seized the chance to mould them into positivity, to better the future with the inclusion of the benefits of having first and second assistant coaches for support in different areas.
“they see your face, and see that what they’ve done was important to you, and in turn that in turn is important to them and intrinsically benefits them.”
After the coaches session John (Amaechi) led a day camp for the University of Chester basketball team, where he put them through their paces, mentally and physically, introducing them to a different sense of conditioning, and improving the basics of basketball. Opening their minds to the fact that all they knew about basketball, was either not good enough or in some cases wrong. The camp was incredibly beneficial for the squads, and although there was 35 members there at the start, Amaechi hit nail on the head by saying:
“No offence but this proves my theory I sent out this challenge across social media and got eight team responses” “If a known footballer sent out a similar competition in this country giving out free coaching tell me how many responses he would have gotten?”
The end of the day and although in his eyes Amaechi looked worn down. He stayed around to answer any questions the eager apprentices he had gained for the day. The passion is still there for John Amaechi to make Britain better as a nation at this wonderful sport. But for the time it seems Amaechi is on a losing team and who knows how long it will be before we lose such an influential character for the sport.