Toronto, ON – Canada Basketball, in conjunction with the ACTS Athlete Institute, is proud to announce the inaugural Canada Basketball Junior Academy, set to launch this weekend – February 15 to 17.

The Junior Academy is a part of Canada Basketball’s Targeted Athlete Strategy (TAS) program which was started in 2009. One of the primary objectives of the TAS program is to guide the development of athletes in the youth age group category. Past participants of the TAS program include NCAA players Anthony Bennett and Kevin Pangos, as well as high-school standout Andrew Wiggins.

Over the course of six weekend training camps and an extended week-long camp, all of which will take place between February and August, 40 identified athletes in grades seven (birth year 2000) and eight (1999) will participate in on-court training, strength and conditioning sessions, and informational workshops. The planned curriculum is designed to nurture and enhance the athletes’ play, leadership qualities and in-game decision-making abilities to be applied on the international stage. 

The Junior Academy is meant to continue to fill gaps in the athlete’s developmental pathway between the Learn-to-Train and Train-to-Train stages of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model in order to guide players towards becoming “Global Players.” This process stresses the importance of athletes training to be successful on-the-court in addition to gaining the knowledge base necessary to be ambassadors for the game and the country.

The ACTS Athlete Institute, located in Orangeville, Ont., offers a wide variety of educational and training facilities to focus the performance of the 40 individuals. Athlete Institute training personnel, Canada Basketball coaches and various staff members will work together to foster a successful learning environment to prepare the selected athletes for the next stage in their development. 

“The Junior Academy represents a tremendous opportunity for Canada Basketball to develop some of our nation’s elite prospects in the Learn-to-Train and Train-to-Train stages. We are working to train athletes from an earlier age, to aid in the growth of the players that will one day represent Canada internationally. Through our Academy, we will be able to further expose and align our technical curriculum with the development of elite athletes at the younger ages,” said Rowan Barrett, Assistant General Manager and Executive Vice-President of the Senior Men’s Program.

The goal of the Canada Basketball Junior Academy is for athletes to not only comprehend and apply valuable skills, but also to synthesize these techniques and evaluate how the lessons-learned fit into authentic game-like situations. For additional information, please visit athleteinstitute.ca.