The London School of Basketball (LSB) officially launched in spectacular fashion with global basketball superstar Kobe Bryant flying in from America to lead an exclusive coaching clinic and inspirational Q&A with young players from across the city.
Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion, NBA MVP, Olympic Gold Medal winner and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time. A bonafide basketball icon in every sense of the word, ‘Kobe’ is also one of the most recognisable and beloved athletes in the world. His appearance and support at the LSB launch sent equal waves of excitement and disbelief amongst both the young players and coaches in attendance.
“Kobe’s been my basketball hero ever since I started playing over seven years ago. I've studied all of his moves and watched all of his games. He's the greatest player of all time. Getting to actually meet him today…I’m speechless…I just can’t believe it…”
- Alan Semugabi, LSB Coach
The London School of Basketball provided the touchpoint for Kobe to inspire the next generation of players and coaches across the capital and is an exciting new program focused on coaching and teaching the game with passion, energy and enthusiasm while developing a network of community clubs throughout London that are built to last so young people have safe places to play and develop within the game for the long-term.
The groundbreaking project is the brainchild of Reach & Teach founder, Nhamo Shire, who has partnered with Nike once again (alongside a number of other key stakeholders) to get more young people playing basketball through the provision of locally accessible coaching sessions delivered by a city-wide network of coaches who are invested into their local communities and supported to seed and grow new clubs where they are most needed.
“The LSB is about increasing participation across London and developing more quality opportunities for young players to learn, play, develop and progress within our game. It’s a coach-led program with a difference. We are building new club networks through the LSB that we can continue to funnel new skills through, so we have more coaches, more teams and more access to our game for kids all across our city” - Nhamo Shire
“Nike have been amazing at understanding the real key to growing basketball in London is investment into grassroots and community infrastructure, while leveraging the power of the brand and the Nike family to inspire the next generation to connect, embrace and integrate into our game on multiple levels. Kobe is as iconic as you can get in our sport and a huge inspiration to us all - having him here today speaks volumes and illustrates both his and the Nike commitment to grassroots basketball across London” Shire effused.
The LA Lakers legend spent time with both players and coaches from the LSB network, assessing the hard work being put in on all of the stations and stopping to give invaluable insights and advice to the awestruck young Londoners.
"Coaches are focused on teaching the fundamentals, which is the right way to go for young players to begin to build skills. I've had a good time working with the kids at the London School of Basketball clinic and look forward to seeing how they develop in the years to come" - Kobe Bryant
He then went on to answer questions from players, coaches and selected members from the London basketball community, taking time to share some of his most memorable experiences in the NBA before moving on to spend time with the 4 hardest working players from the clinic who won the opportunity to design a shoe for Kobe, with him right by their side, using the innovative Nike ID platform. Each player received a signed pair of shoes from the NBA Scoring Champion, before he finally departed.
Other partners of the innovative program include England Basketball (the National Governing Body), Sport For Social Change Network, Sport England, the NBA and the Mayor Of London. Boris Johnson was so inspired by the program, that he took time out of his busy schedule to also attend the clinic, personally welcoming participants and guests while endorsing the LSB to the onlooking press.
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