The purpose of the camp was to welcome 132 first-year student athletes to the DiSE programme and deliver important talent and performance workshops, including an introduction to anti-doping, cardiac screening, performance testing and an on-court session with Danum Eagles Head Coach and shooting specialist Bob Martin.
The two-year, Department for Education funded programme is a unique sporting qualification designed to meet the needs of student athletes who exhibit the potential to achieve excellence in sport, including basketball.
Basketball England’s Talent Programme and Pathway Manager Sam Messam addressed the athletes at the start of the day with a reminder that the EABL and WEABL competitions, in which they will play, provides them with the ‘stress and challenge’ needed to make them better players, but to realise their full potential they should be mindful their performance basketball is in balance with their education.
“The DiSE programme is not about participation. It's not about you having a good time. It's about making you better," he said.
"And whether it's in hockey, rugby, football or basketball, DiSE is about you being a performance athlete. It's about trying to create the next Olympians.
"Each of the coaches that you are sharing your two year journey with have been selected because they love what they do. We have a very broad and wide pool of expertise, and responsibility for making you better, whatever that looks like you as an individual. The reality is, you're in the very best hands to be the very best that you can be."
Lead Strength & Conditioning Mark Williams took the DiSE athletes through performance testing, which gives them a baseline measurement of their performance so they can ‘take ownership of their development’ pic.twitter.com/K1nt1vzbOK— Academy Basketball England (@academybballeng) October 26, 2023
Head of Talent and Performance Steve Bucknall also welcomed the attendees with insight into his journey to the NBA.
Bucknall reminded them that they are in a ‘fortunate position’ to play in an environment close to home against top athletes from 13 institutions.
"I want you to understand that you all have the same ambition," he said. "To be the best you can be. The DiSE programme offers you the opportunity to do that.
"You don't have to go to the States like I had to. That's something for you to look at afterwards, but at this early stage, we'd like to support you to stay home and really understand just what it takes to possibly be a professional."
Part of BE's Strategic Plan is to develop a world-class talent system to fulfil the sports potential, and that means taking a player-centric approach to physical and mental well-being. At the induction, all athletes had an opportunity to have their heart health examined at the cardiac screening workshop.
Electrocardicograms were administered to identify any life-threatening cardiac abnormalities in apparently healthy, young people.
BE’s Strength and Conditioning Lead Mark Williams was also on hand to measure baseline performance and fitness statistics through various flexibility, strength, power, speed and agility tests.
Williams says player performance profiles are disseminated to respective institutions so that strength and conditioning coaches and the players can see their progress over the two years.
First year Charnwood and JMA student athletes Sean Komakech and Millie Day said that their time at the induction was worthwhile, with Sean saying the ‘new experience’ helped him understand what’s expected and how he hopes to achieve his goals this season.