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ASBA summer youth clinic helps kids of all skill levels

Aspiring basketball players participating in the ongoing ASBA summer clinic for the Central District, pictured with their coaches Diehl Langkilde and Milton Taufaasau. See story for full details.   [photo: Mark Espiritu]
Samoa News Intern

The American Samoa Basketball Association (ASBA) youth clinics, one of the most anticipated summer programs for the territory's youngsters, kicked off late last month and will wrap up in early August.

The clinics are separated into three groups - each representing a district: Fagaloa, West and Central.

The Fagaloa basketball clinics are being coached by Michael Pereira, while Kalati Fonoti is coaching basketball clinics for the Western District.

Diehl Langkilde and Milton Taufaasau are teaming up to oversee the clinics for the  Central District.

Participants vary in ages from 5 to 18 years old, with an average of 50-60 players per clinic for the Central district alone.

Some kids - specifically the younger ones - show up to learn the basics of basketball while the teens are there to find new techniques that'll improve their game.

High school level players use the clinics as a way to prepare them for the season.

During the clinics, all players train and work to improve their skills through drills and guidance from the coaching staff.

Since 2013, the ASBA clinics have served as a tool for kids to learn the basics of the game and at the same time, develop good sportsmanship.

 The clinics are in partnership with the ASG Department of Parks and Recreation.

Central district basketball coach Diehl Langkilde said, "As we do every year, we will help these kids improve their skills and also strengthen their foundation in basketball while also emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship." He said that this summer, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of kids participating in the youth basketball clinics.