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THE RETURN OF THE YIMPACT BASKETBALL CAMP

With the restrictions slowly being lifted on Guam, Jimmy Yi seized the opportunity bring back the Yimpact Basketball Camp, which filled up quickly.

By Brandon Kinsella

After three months of lock-down, athletes are finally making their transition back into their beloved sports. Once DHSS issued the memo which allowed for the return of “any sport, and other physical activities, whether physical contact is intentional or not,” Basketball Coach Jimmy Yi immediately took action, requesting to use the Guam National Basketball Center in Tiyan to hold the annual Yimpact Basketball Camp.

Following Coach Yi’s social media post which indicated that he would be holding a camp, slots filled up quickly. Young athletes were eager to get back onto the basketball court and parents were happy to get their kids back into their athletic activities.

The camp, which started on Monday, will last 4-weeks long and is limited to 25 players per session. There are currently two sessions, one boys and one girls session, and both sessions sold-out within two days. Coach Yi says he is open to the possibility of starting a new session time if need be.  

The camp is taking the necessary precautions to ensure health and safety standards. Players are required to wash their hands prior to entry and before touching any basketballs and must also spray disinfectant on shoes prior to entry on the court. Hand sanitizers are used often and wiping down of equipment is also frequented.

Yimpact Basketball Camp is in full effect for four weeks with participating kids ranging from the age of 10 to high schoolers. (Photo by Michael Blas)

Coach Yi, who hasn’t done anything basketball related since March because of the pandemic, was overwhelmed by the support he has received by players and their parents,

“We’re so grateful for all the kids here, and that parents have been supportive of the camp. We’re doing our best to be safe. We put this together quick, just over the weekend and when the camp started on Monday, it felt awesome to hear the ball bounce again and to see the level of excitement these kids had to be back on the court.”

A majority of the players participating in the camp are returnees from previous camps, but there are also some new faces. Coach Yi is excited to see each of the players skills develop as the camp goes on.

When asked what’s one life lesson he wants these kids to take away from the camp, Yi replied,

“Belief. I’d like them to walk away and remember to believe in yourself, especially during these tough times. Belief needs to happen not only when things are going great, but also when times aren’t so good.”

Coach Yi closed the interview expressing his appreciation for the continuous trust and support from everyone who made the camp possible,

“I’d like to thank all the parents, family, GBC, and all the supporters for contributing to making this happen.”

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Sports legend Joe Taitano used to run to school at JFK from his Yigo home and back. He continued this routine up to 1979 when he’d run from home to GW gym and back to practice for the South Pacific Games with the national basketball team. Guam went on to win its second straight SPG gold medal.

 

 

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