WHAT IS THE ANNUAL LAS VEGAS TOUR?
The Annual Las Vegas Tour is the pinnacle event for the New Zealand Basketball Academy every year. Since the first tour in 2012, one that included current NBA player Steven Adams, we have increased the size of the tour to cater for male and female athletes aged 11-18 years of age. The purpose of the tour is to expose New Zealand players to the intensity of the American style of play by competing against some of the best AAU club teams in the nation. Playing at this level is excellent preparation for anyone with aspirations of gaining a college scholarship.
The tour takes place during the month of July though we have to work around New Zealand's regional representative tournaments so dates are difficult to pin down until the release of their harmonized calender. The tour itself usually lasts for around 10 days, which at it's latest would have the athletes back for the end week 2 of the third school term.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
Las Vegas during the month of July is almost completely taken over by basketballers from all over the United States. Scouts from hundreds of different American Universities use this concentration of basketball talent as a prime opportunity to recruit. If you have dreams of playing in NCAA competition their is no better place to be in the month of July! In addition to hosting a wide range of AAU tournaments that cater to all levels of competition the city also plays host to the NBA Summer League. Going to Summer League games has been a great addition to every tour as our young athletes can learn a lot from what is effectively the most intense trial environment in basketball.
WHAT TOURNAMENTS DO THE TEAMS PLAY IN?
Over the last few years our teams have competed in Bigfoot Hoops, Jam On It, Fab 48, Girls Super Showcase, Las Vegas Boys Super Showcase & also participated in the West Coast Elite High Academic 2-day Super bowl Camp. In previous years we have returned with several silverware and in July 2018 our Varsity Boys were crowned champions in the Bigfoot Hoops Live tournament with our 13U Boys taking out the 13U Fab 48 Junior tournament. Our 14U Boys were runners up in the Bigfoot Hoops 15U Live tournament.
WHAT AGE GROUPS WILL BE HEADING TO LAS VEGAS?
Currently we are looking at taking teams for 13U, 14U, 15U, 17U (Varsity grade), age groups.
How do I know what age group I fall under?
Because of the United States grade system age groups are slightly different then they are in New Zealand. The best way to explain is with an example.
To qualify to play for the 13U team ideally you will be 13 years of age or under at the time of the tour. If you turn 14 at some point in June or July then we will be able to get dispensation for you to play in the 13U team thanks to the American grade system. This is the same for all age groups, so if you are 15 turning 16 on 27 June 2018 then you should still trial for the 15U team.
If you are still unsure please don't hesitate to email us for advice:
HOW DO I MAXIMISE MY CHANCES OF SELECTION?
Attend each of the Trials or at least two out of the three! By attending each of the camps you not only show commitment to the team but your age group coach can gauge how much you are improving over the summer months. It is highly recommended that you use the summer months to drill your fundamentals while staying fit and healthy. Don't sell yourself short by showing up on the day feeling less than your best because you spent a few too many hours on Facebook or the Playstation.
If you are only able to attend one camp for any reason then we recommend the 4 day camp in January. This is a great chance to showcase your talents over a number of days against your competition before the coaches make their final decisions.
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF I HAVE BEEN SELECTED?
The coaches will have a week after the January camp to finalize their teams. Once we have a confirmed team list from each coach we will post the teams on our website and notify everyone who trialed.
Each team will select a maximum of up to 12 travelling players in addition to a minimum of 3 non-travelling reserves. Non-travelling reserves will be given the option to continue training with the team at our weekend camps throughout the year and will be called upon should any of the travelling team need to withdraw.
I WANT TO KNOW WHY I WASN'T SELECTED AND WHAT I CAN WORK ON?
If at any point during the trial process, or are after the teams have been named, you wish to contact your age group coach for advice they will be happy to help. Your coach from the October camp will be your head coach right through till the tour baring scheduling conflicts. If you are having trouble contacting a coach then please get in touch with Kenny McFadden for assistance.
I HAVE MADE THE TEAM, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Once the team's have been selected you will be asked to pay a deposit of approximately $650.00 ($350.00 non refundable) to secure flight and accommodation bookings. We will also be issuing a payment plan that must be adhered to or you place in the team will be forfeited. There will also be a number of training camps that we will ask you to attend so that you and your team will be fully prepared for competition once we touch down in Las Vegas. As of October 2018 we are looking to have four training camps in our build up to Las Vegas spaced roughly six weeks apart. The costs for the training camp are not included in the overall tour costs and will cost $45.00 per day. You must register for each camp once notification is uploaded on our website.
WHAT WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PAY?
With the increase in travel and accommodation costs, the Academy has had to increase the cost of the tour to approximately $4,950.00 per person. Rising fuel costs and increased demand are cited as the main reason for the increases.
The tour cost covers airfares, accommodation, food, uniform, local travel expenses, tournament entries (2 tournaments), court hire for training (in the USA), along with coach and manager equalization allowances. These costs do not include those associated with the training camps prior to Las Vegas which remain the same as the trials camps.
HOW MUCH PLAYING TIME WILL I GET?
How this is determined will differ from coach to coach and we cannot guarantee any amount of playing time as so many different factors come into the decision. One way you can secure playing time is to take note of who is excelling during the trial period and work twice as hard to be better than them come July. We have seen many players improve greatly during the 6 months leading into our tour in July, becoming not only role players but standouts during the tournament.
We are working hard to find the best coaches to join us on the tour but if for whatever reason you are experiencing issues with them please contact our registrations team and they will ensure your issue is addressed.
I AM A PARENT, CAN I TRAVEL WITH MY CHILD?
We welcome parent's and supporters who are able to travel with their children, though they will have make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. It must also be said that in America it is common to pay when spectating teenage basketball games. This tends to be around $30-$40.00 a tournament.
If you do choose to join your child on the trip then please understand that while we are away that they are apart of their team and any requests for the child to join the parent on activities must be approved by the team's coach. Their are many attractions surrounding Las Vegas that you may want to visit during your time there, but while the tournaments are underway basketball will take priority.
If you plan on having an extended holiday before or after the tournament then we would ask that you notify us at the time of selection so that we may adjust our ticket booking accordingly.
I'D LIKE TO BE A TEAM MANAGER
During the trial period we would ask that you direct your inquires to the coach of the team you are looking to manage. The best time to make these would be at our trial camps. A job description will be available upon request from the beginning of November. If you are having trouble contacting a coach then please get in touch with Soozie Trego for assistance.