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McCoy learns a lot at NBA Academy Camp

Bahamian junior women’s basketball player Terrell McCoy experienced a thrilling week in mid-January, taking part in the 2023 NBA Academy Women’s Camp Latin America in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

McCoy returned home over the weekend and spoke about the game and her experience. The camp featured 29 of the top young prospects from 13 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The work was impeccable,” McCoy said. “It was like nothing like I’ve ever done. There were new drills and I met new people,. Our coaches pushed us to work through our barriers even when we were tired. It was definitely an impeccable camp and the best I have ever been to. I’m happy that the NBA (National Basketball Association) chose me to come and I hope I get to go back. I built friendships, I got connections and it’s going to help me to go further to where I want to be.”

The camp was hosted by WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) former and current players and coaches. It offered both basketball instructions and off-the-court workshops on leadership and life skills. The coaching staff included local coaches, current WNBA players Jordin Canada from the Los Angeles Sparks, the Atlanta Dream’s Danielle Robinson, the Washington Mystics’ Ariel Atkins, former WNBA players Carla Cortijo and Taj McWilliams-Franklin, current Phoenix Mercury Assistant Coach Cinnamon Lister and FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Americas President Carol Callan.

“It’s almost unreal because you see them on TV and you dream about meeting them and then you’re there and you don’t want to mess up. You think that they’re going to judge and critique you, but no, they were very helpful. The scouts came and talked to us, and asked us questions about ourselves personally to get us to know us on a deeper level,” McCoy said. “They even gave connections, so I now have connections to wherever I want to go when I go to school for college. I have connections with Taj McWilliams-Franklin and people like Callan came up to me. It’s more about getting connections inside the sport, and so I’m happy to know that they helped me to reach that goal.”

When she heard that she was selected to go to the camp, McCoy said she was shocked but filled with joy and excitement. She started to doubt herself but got relaxed after she was at the camp as she was in her element – the basketball court. McCoy reiterated that the instructors at the game taught them more than just on-court skills but also about life.

“One thing that I noticed is that everything they taught us, they related it back to life, such as self-discipline and running up the court, pushing yourself, pushing yourself through life – they related everything more to life. It was not just trying to get us to do better in basketball, but trying to progress us mentally, spiritually as a person, not just a person on the court but a person in life,” McCoy said.

One of the memorable aspects of the camp for the 14-year-old was that her and the campers became close, like sisters, as they formed a bond. Another one of McCoy’s biggest highlights of the camp was meeting former WNBA player and two-time WNBA Champion McWilliams-Franklin.

“She was a post player just like me and now she works for the WNBA. She gave me many connections. She said that when I get to another level, she wants to help me look for NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I (DI) scouts and she’s going to help me further myself in basketball,” McCoy said.

McCoy currently attends Windsor School here in New Providence. Her school does not have a girls basketball team but she said that she will be doing work on her own and she also plays for a local club team, the Elite Ballers.

McCoy was outstanding for The Bahamas in the Centrobasket Under-15 Championship that was held in Gurabo, Puerto Rico in June 2022. The Bahamas lost all of its games but McCoy finished the tournament averaging a double-double at 10.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. She led The Bahamas in both categories. She finished with three double-doubles in the five games that The Bahamas played in while averaging 27.5 minutes per game.

She is also a star in the track and field arena, competing in the throws. She won a bronze medal in the under-17 girls discus at the 2022 CARIFTA Games in Kingston, Jamaica, and has qualified for this year’s CARIFTA Games.


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