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Inside Canarias Basketball Academy (Part two)
By Ruben Alcaraz
How is a regular day at the Canarias Basketball Academy? Eurohopes lived this experience. We had to wake up soon because the first practice of the day started at 6:00 am. At great facilities of Universidad de Las Palmas, the first impression was awesome. 40 guys full of energy and correctly made uniforms were working on his skills. Separated in two groups they were doing handle drills, using two balls and both hands, and exercises of pass using a wall of the gym. Coaches are demanding and players repeated exercises with precision. Eric Reveno, head coach of the Pilots of University of Portland was following the evolutions of the players. He was searching a center, as many others. Two days before, Tulane University was at CBA looking for some recruit. These days some colleges come to CBA to look players. Two hours after practice started, players went to weight room to work on his physical conditioning with the trainer.
At 10:00 am youngsters went to Oakley College, an English school, to follow their studies. Senior players went to Spanish class with an academy’s teacher. After their duties, players launched in their residence, where the nutrition is controlled in detail.

The second practice of the day started at 1:30 pm at La Paterna gym, a really nice arena where the woman team of CB Islas Canarias has their base. Separated in two groups, guards-small forwards and forwards-centers, players worked on specific skills. Big guys made quick lay ups and low post-high post shots. Playmakers worked at high intensity bouncing the ball and doing crossovers. Kevin Willard, Seton Hall’s head coach, just landed a few hours before, analyzed all the players paying more attention to guards. Sometimes, Rob Orellana, academy’s director, demanded even more intensity.

When the practice was over, Eurohopes talked with a few players. Boris Bojanovsky (’93) is a 7’03’’ from Slovakia and one of the best CBA prospects.

- What do you expect coming here to the CBA?

Before I came here, I talked with Rob and I told him exactly what I want to be. I’m at the academy since September and my first month here was nice, was exactly what I want it, but after that he really push me and I really have improved.

- Which is your short-term goal? And long-term?

In the short term I would like to go to college and to continue improving. In the long term to be the best basketball player I can.

The player that get more attention to us for his powerful dunks, quick post moves and skills was Johan Van Zegeren (90’). Joey is a 6’10’’ from Netherland and spent a few minutes with Eurohopes after practice.

- What do you expect coming here to the CBA?

I came here last year, I want to go to college next year so this academy is the best way altogether. This is the best academy in Europe and we working hard every day, so I hope to get better and get a scholarship to USA.

- What skill would you want to improve more?

Post moves toughness, strength and mid range jumpers.
Last practice of the day started at 8:30 pm and it consisted of 2x2 and 3x3 drills where players put their skills in the game. Usually CBA don’t work like a regular team, with a game system, and 5x5 practice. They only train game situations the previous week to a competition. The most important thing at the academy is to develop the skills of the players, not to gain tournaments. 
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