Next week, four NAIA Kansas colleges will host a Panamanian team, Jump Shoot Basketball Academy, for a four game exhibition tour across the state. MidAmerica Nazarene University, Ottawa University, Tabor College, and Sterling College will each host and play the team comprised of college-age players from around Panama City. This is the first ever international tour of this type hosted by members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the Heart of America Conference.
Sterling College Coach Dean Jaderston first met Jump Shoot Basketball Academy Coach Victor Julio when his team went on a mission trip to Panama last summer.
“When we did a clinic with the academy, I was immediately struck by how serious Coach Julio was about using basketball to make a difference in the lives of kids in Panama. He is a very good coach, and has high expectations for his players and the kids who are part of his Academy. We were all impressed by the level of skill his players demonstrated, as well as the character and sportsmanship they consistently demonstrated. We began talking about how we could help them come to the States and play some teams here, and are really excited that this has become a reality.”
The tour schedule will be as follows:
Monday, Oct. 26 Jump Shoot vs. MidAmerica Nazarene 7:00 Olathe, KS
Tuesday, Oct. 27 Jump Shoot vs. Ottawa University 7:00 Ottawa, KS
Thursday, Oct. 29 Jump Shoot vs. Tabor College 7:30 Hillsboro, KS
Saturday, Oct. 31 Jump Shoot vs. Sterling College 8:00 Sterling, KS
Jump Shoot Basketball Academy was started in 2008. Under Coach Victor Julio’s leadership, it has grown each year due to its location, management and emphasis on character development. Built on the principle that a comprehensive sports culture helps young people not only enjoy basketball, but also helps them learn important life lessons that go beyond the court, Jump Shoot has built a large network of national and international players. Through the years, the academy has developed 12 players who have received scholarships in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Their goal is to be the best basketball Academy in Panama, working closely with teams and organizations interested in helping players reach their full potential, and allowing them to be worthy representatives of their country in national and international competitions.
They have also partnered with Kiwanis Chorrillo and built an alliance of scholarships for children of social risk, to help improve their lives through the sport of basketball. This program has developed a number of young players who have gone on to represent Panama on various national teams.