Living a basketball dream in California

zur deutschen Version

Basketball players come in all sorts of different variations. Often they stand out from the crowd because of their height, but you may find as well smaller players. With age six or seven they chase the orange nylon with similar great excitement as the above-55 team that takes their place on the court afterwards. In China, more than 300 million people regularly play basketball, it is sport no. 1 in countries like Serbia or Lithuania. As diverse as the background of basketball players around the globe may be, they all share one common dream:

One day, they want to experience their sport in its country of origin, in the U.S.!

For ambitious players, male or female alike, it is THE dream of their career to play professionally in the NBA or WNBA, to compete against the best in the world and to be adored by thousands of screaming fans. For all true supporters of the game it is an unforgettable highlight of their life, if they had the opportunity to witness Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant in live-action – younger generations will one day feel the same remembering LeBron James or Steph Curry.

But it is not just about the NBA.
Many former players are still full of excitement, when they tell their kids about their highschool exchange year that happened some twenty years ago and the memory of that exciting time will be with them forever. Basketball players who had the opportunity to combine studies and athletics at a US-University still benefit from the experiences, the skills and the network they developed in those years.
The dream remains the same, from generation to generation. But what is the best way to approach it?

As in many other areas of life, it is ideal, if you can test a life dream with limited risk instead of jumping off immediately and without parachute. If you can experience the key features of the dream, see if you really like them and ideally be able to establish helpful connections, you have built a valuable foundation. This is exactly what Ana Behnke Llanos and Ayla Faber do. Those talented basketball players who played last season for TG Neuss Junior Tigers in the highest German youth division are going to California this summer, in order to develop their skills and make a name for themselves. Specifically, they go to Rancho Cucamonga, where they will join many US-players to participate in the „Lebe deine Vision Exposure Camp & Combine“.

If you are surprised about the partly German name of the camp – this is not a mistake in translation. The camp is initiated and led by the former German national team player Linda Fröhlich who starred at UNLV and in the WNBA. After the end of her professional career Linda stayed in California and now leads her Fro13 Academy. (here you can read more about Linda’s intention to pass on her skills and principles to the next generation of players). At her academy, players are developed by Linda and other experienced coaches in the professional environment of the academy-owned gym. At the camps, players get the opportunity to showcase their skills and get in contact with University coaches who are on the look-out to recruit future talents for their teams.

A scholarship is a great opportunity, but this is not what Ana and Ayla think about right now. They look forward to the special experience that they want to enjoy and leverage as much as possible. And what if new options come up and you get in contact with a university? “Why not - never say never.”

With the same forward-looking and optimistic attitude, Ana and Ayla were quickly open to the idea to write on Dreampions about their dream, their trip and their experiences. Over the next few weeks, they will let us participate in their adventure.

Maybe and hopefully Anas and Aylas story is an inspiration to others to follow their personal (basketball) dream with even more passion.

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