Pickering & Fahie to attend NBA camp in New Orleans
The duo had recently travelled to New York for an authentic NBA experience following their top performances at the 2016 Digicel Elite Camp held here in the Virgin Islands in October 2016.
Pickering and Fahie, both 16 years of age, join Barbados’ Tower Lorde, who was also in New York, as the only picks from the Caribbean.
They will be attending the February 17-19, 2017 camp which has attracted 67 boys and girls from 32 countries. The camp will be held at the New Orleans Pelicans’ practice facility, as part of the NBA 2017 All Stars activities.
According to a press release from Digicel BVI today, February 15, 2017 both players expressed surprise when they got the invitations and that the NBA had everything arranged.
“I didn’t expect this,” Pickering said, adding that she thinks her talent stood out. “I’m looking forward to being seen so I can get a scholarship and also look forward to seeing the competition out there and what I’m really up against and see how hard others are working even though I’m working hard.”
“I didn’t expect anybody from anywhere selecting me from the Virgin Islands,” Fahie said.
“The sequence of events leading up to Pickering and Fahie getting the nod almost didn’t happen” noted Digicel Marketing Manager Kareem-Nelson Hull. Hull said “for budgetary reasons; we considered not having the BVI leg of the Digicel NBA Jumpstart Programme in September. When our Group office offered for us to hold the NBA Elite Camp (in October), we knew it was not acceptable to bring so many persons from different countries here and not give Virgin Islanders a chance to compete on that level,” he pointed out. “Now we truly see the purpose of why Digicel gives back so much to the community because as we continue to give, our community gets so much more out of it. These young ladies promised from the first time I met them, that they were going to make it to the top two that were going to New York and as they promised they delivered.”
Hull noted that when players from nine Caribbean countries came in, they were great ambassadors and hosts. He added that when they went to New York, they carried the BVI flag on a shining display.
“We are proud of these young ladies and truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to unearth raw, untapped talent, abilities we knew existed and have now been recognised.”
Digicel General Manager Kevin R. Gordon said Pickering and Fahie have a unique opportunity that many basketball players crave.
“To have been selected to such a prestigious camp by the NBA shows that they have extraordinary talent,” Gordon said. “We are delighted that they have this opportunity which can open even more doors for them. We congratulate Mahkayla Pickering and Shauliqua Fahie, and we encourage them to embrace the opportunity with the same vigour they brought to the Digicel NBA Jumpstart programme and the Elite Camp.”
It is not clear if the players have already departed for New Orleans and who will be accompanying them as PR and Sponsorship Executive of Digicel, Katasha Melville, did not respond to our queries.