The Empower Sports Network is set to host two basketball combines this summer with the hope of providing scholarship opportunities for local athletes.
The newly formed recruiting service will host both male and female sessions next month that will be attended by collegiate coaches and scouts from Canada.
The female event takes place June 24th at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium, while the boys event is set for July 7-8 at the same location.
“This is something that i’m really looking forward to because I know what an opportunity like this could do for a lot of these local kids,” said Empower Sports founder Ollen Smith.
“It is pivotal that people get the opportunity to get away from their normal surroundings in order to truly appreciate where they come from and also how they can make a difference where they came from.
“We know we have a lot of kids that can play here in The Bahamas, however, we are looking for people that are well-rounded. You have to fit the full description of being a student-athlete, meaning that the grades have to match the game, because you can’t have a collegiate career if you aren’t able to meet the criteria to get in. Not everyone can be a professional, but if you are able to come away with a quality education, and opportunities to be in new surroundings and experience things that you would not have without basketball, then that’s fine too.”
Along with hosting the training sessions, Smith is also hosting a shoe drive with the hope of raising at least 15 pairs of tennis for local children looking to participate in sporting activities this summer.
“When i come back home, I always try to catch up with the kids in my constituency, the Centerville constituency, and try to do workouts with them and do different things to help them get in shape and just provide them with a positive outlet. It’s hard for them to be active in something like sports when some don’t even have shoes to play. So, I just want the people in the area to know that there are people willing to help out, and there are people that want to make a difference in the country.”
The sneaker drive is looking for shoes between sizes 8.5-12. Smith said that anyone interested in learning more about the Empower Network and the shoe drive can contact him on Facebook and Instagram at Empower Sports Network.
Photo Caption: Empower Sports Founder Ollen Smith (far right) is looking to bring his program to The Bahamas this summer.