‘Bola’ moves to Garapan Basketball Court


Participants in the “Bola” kick-off session perform warm-up drills at the Koblerville Basketball Court last Saturday.

The Northern Marianas Islands Basketball Federation‘s Mini Basketball Village Outreach Program dubbed as “Bola” will have its second session at the Garapan Basketball Court this Saturday, starting at 4pm.

The program, which is supported by FIBA Oceania and FIBA Foundation, had its kick-off last Saturday at the Koblerville Basketball Court, but was cut short due to rain. Children who attended the shortened first session are welcome to come at the Garapan Basketball Court to complete the drills. Registration and waiver forms are available at the NMIBF Facebook page NMIBasketballFederation and at the Garapan Basketball Court.

“We are inviting children age 12 years old and under to come down to Garapan Basketball Court and have fun with the basketball drills our coaches and NMI National Team Program players will be demonstrating,” NMIBF president James Lee said.

Drills will be conducted by stations, as the NMIBF will be implementing safety protocols during the sessions. Participants will be spread out in four stations to learn basic drills on dribbling, passing, shooting, and footwork. Balls will be provided to each participant as an added safety measure.

The CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management has also donated masks and hand sanitizers for the “Bola” sessions, while the Governor’s Office and Sen. Vinson “Vinnie” Sablan (R-Saipan) donated bottled water for last Saturday’s event in Koblerville.

A participant in the “Bola” kick-off session does shooting drills at the Koblerville Basketball Court last Saturday.

Besides the Office of the Governor, “Bola” is also presented by the Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Office of Youth Affairs, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and DCCA’s Sports and Recreation.

“We would like to thank FIBA Oceania, FIBA Foundation, and the many government agencies and offices that are supporting ‘Bola’ as their assistance allows us to provide a valuable program for our children and for the different villages in the CNMI,” Lee said.

Dexter Tenorio, who brought his son Andrei Derek in Koblerville last Saturday for the kick-off, said that “Bola” is the kind of program that parents like him would want their children to get involved with.

“With all the challenges we are facing right now due to the pandemic, it’s good that we have a program like ‘Bola’ that would give our kids opportunities to be active again and focus on things that bring health benefits to them as well help develop their skills and character,” Tenorio said.

“Bola” is the NMIBF’s way of identifying talent that villages could utilize and nurture to build their own program and encouraging parents and village leaders to get involved in activities in their respective areas.

After the session at the Garapan Basketball Court, the NMIBF will bring “Bola” to Civic Center Basketball Court on Feb. 5; Kagman Community Center Court on Feb. 12; Chinatown Basketball Court on Feb. 19; San Vicente Community Center basketball court on Feb. 28; and As Matuis Basketball Court on March 5. The NMBIF is also hoping to hold sessions on Rota and Tinian. All sessions will run from 4pm to 6pm. (PR)

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