“Awesome. It is the word that comes to mind when I remember my experience at the Canary Basketball Academy. I had never worked at this level, especially physical and mental … so at first I had a bad time. Rob, Aranza, the coaches, the residence workers, the comrades … the CBA is a big family. It’s my second family. I very much doubt that in Europe there is another academy that gives the values that the CBA instills in you”.
We speak with Yankuba Sima, current player of the prestigious St. John’s Univesity with a past in the Canarias Basketball Academy. ‘Yanku’ arrived in Tafira from the junior-level Sant Josep Junior and in just a few months working at the academy managed to knock on the doorstep of the national team.
“I knew Yankuba seeing him play in the lower ranks of the Santa Eugenia de Girona and he called my attention to being a player with interesting qualities to play basketball. Being a cadet I was able to train him in the already disappeared Sant Josep Girona and there I realized that he was very intelligent player, well worked, could be a good player “, explains Gerard Damià, the person who changed the life of Sima signing him at CBA.
“In Girona he lacked the technical and physical work and the competition of competing with players similair to him. He was convinced that in the CBA he would obtain great results in these two aspects, as long as he was able to withstand the demands of the academy. From the outset, Rob Orellana and all the coaches, squeezed him as much as possible and he thanked him in the form of work“, explains Gerard himself, who currently works scouting and recruitment for the CBA.
“I know he enjoys living, studying and playing basketball in a city like New York and at a University as good as St. John’s. I do not think about what his limit might be or where he could end up playing tomorrow, if he continues to train both academically and athletically (as he is doing) he will get where he wants to go. I trust him a lot”, concludes Gerard.
Sima is calm and happy, is living his dream in one of the best cities in the world, New York. There he has found his new home while studying, something essential for his future… but he never forgets his past, a very important part of his brilliant present was born in Tafira and came suddenly, with a simple phone call. “Gerard Damià one day called my mother, at 1 am, telling her that tomorrow I had to take a plane to go to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and train with CBA. My mother knew Gerard a lot because he had trained my older brothers and that made things much easier. I remember living those moments with great enthusiasm”, recalls Yankuba himself.
There he is very good, he is playing his third year and he is very satisfied with how things are going. In his team there has a great atmosphere and every day he is fortunate to receive the advice of former NBA Chris Mullin, who is his coach.
Older brother advice:
From Yankuba, to Ousman and Ebraim.
Yankuba’s younger brothers are following in their footsteps and recently left Girona to start a new stage at the Canarias Basketball Academy. Yankuba wanted to send them a message:
“Enjoy every day of the experience of being there, in the CBA. Do not stop working, neither academically nor in sports, you are both in the best place to do it and fulfill your dreams.
You will have hard days, because it is not easy, but he who wants something… has to suffer to get it.
You are both very good players and sure that if you work hard you will achieve your goals”.