Last weekend, autonomous U18 CBA White beat CB Gran Canaria on the road, after a frenetic game. In this way, Sergio Salesa’s players moved forward against one of the competition favourites, by winning by six points (61-67).
In addition to three daily practices at Canarias Basketball Academy (players only rest on Sundays in the morning), we should add an aspect that it is not seen but can be noticed on the court: the #CBAfamily feeling.
“This is not a typical club”, Salesa explains and continues adding: “Co-existence is basic here as we are together in every situation, from getting up to going to bed, and that counts in the end”. “By keeping the distance, I act like an older brother or father in certain moments and a sensible closeness is very positive”, he underlines.
Regarding the difference of other teams of the league, CBA White coach has clear ideas: “At CBA you have much time to work on the skills, a key that is totally forgotten in the rest of the clubs. And that can be practiced here everyday, even in double sessions. It is a plus and a luxury for the players”.
Menno Dijkstra, a 6’11 Dutch center that has started his third season at Canarias Basketball Academy, knows this reality very well: “I have grown up a lot as a player here because they push you everyday here to be the best basketball player I can be and my progress has been spectacular”.
Dijkstra also stands out the human aspect: “CBA is a family and it is not only reflected on the court, but also in the stands. It was exciting all the support from the rest of the Academy during the game”.
“Without a doubt”, the Dutch adds, “this is an unique experience: it is very rewarding to co-exist with different cultures and ways of understanding basketball”.
At Canarias Basketball Academy players from 30 different nationalities share the facilities of the residence. For instance, Sergio Salesa’s CBA White players come from so unalike countries such as: China, Mali, Irland, Belgium, Holland, Germany or Spain.
Moreover, in this last case there are players from several Spanish provinces such as Asturias, Madrid, Barcelona, Vizcaya or Palencia, from where Álvaro Reyes is from, who also underlines that “at CBA there is a special link because I had never shared what I share with my current teammates; these are family experiences, as if I were with my siblings, and I have a great understanding with them”.
Furthermore, Reyes says: “With respect to other clubs, we have a great advantage because everyday we have several coaches making us get better individually which is beneficial for the team”.
After exposing all those aspects, it is not a surprise that #CBAfamily hashtag and label is present in every CBA social network release, as these three protagonists agree on pointing out that CBA experience is very unique in the world.
(Photos by José Juan Martín Domínguez)