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Articles

Celtics guard coming to Trinidad - May 18, 2017


POSTED BY:
DON FARRELL
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BOSTON CELTICS guard Avery Bradley will be in Trinidad next month for the first stop of the annual Avery Bradley Skills Academy which jumps off at the National Cycling Centre in Couva.

The Skills Academy will be held here from June 17-19 before making stops at Waltham (Massachusetts) from June 25-26, Ashland (Massachusetts) from June 28-30, his hometown in Tacoma, Washington (July 5-7) and Vancouver (August 15-17) Bradley, 26 years old, is currently embroiled in heated battle with NBA champions LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals which tipped off last night at the TD Garden in Boston.

Bradley, born in Washington, is known as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and recently demonstrated his offensive prowess to help the Celtics beat the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The former Texas Longhorns player had a playoff career-high 29 points in Game 5 win which put them ahead 3-2. For the playoffs, Bradley is averaging 15.8 points after 13 games as he seeks to make a first ever appearane in the NBA Finals scheduled to begin June 1.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Ryan Alcantara, the man responsible for Bradley bringing his elite basketball camp to this country, explained how it was made possible.

'I have a relationship with Avery and he always wanted to do something here. Last year he went to Grenada with it and just through asking (him) and I was speaking to someone at Sport TT and they made it happen,' he said.

How did he befriend the Celtics defensive juggernauth? 'I actually met Avery about five years ago in Grenada through his wife who is Grenadian and we became friends. He's a real genuine and giving guy and always up for the kids and doing things (for them). He's a real nice guy,' he said.

Alacantara is optimistic Bradley's Skills Academy which targets young persons aged six to 16 will give a much needed boost to the sport here.

'Basketball is not a very popular sport in Trinidad and Tobago but I'm hoping it will do something for the game and bring some awareness to his brand and the Celtics brand and hopefully we could get a little more interest in basketball here. There are a lot of clubs and academies here that people don't know much about and hopefully it could bring some awareness to them as well,' he added.

Alcantara, head of the local organising committee, explained that the participants for the Skills Academy will comprise mostly players from local clubs.

'Because it was on short notice the majority of kids will be chosen through the (local) academies and you can also register at his website,' he said.

What does he think of Bradley and the Celtics' chances against the Cavaliers? 'He's a very great defender and they're gonna be in a good frame of mind coming off the last two series (vs Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards) so I think it should be exciting and hopefully it doesn't end how everyone thinks its gonna end,' he said.

newsday

  



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