BC Women’s Basketball team hosts their first-ever Basketball Academy training course


Alexandra Apatiga

BC student and basketball player Jasmyn Rodriguez showing her group how to crouch and turn without losing balance, as a part of the BC Basketball Academy.

Alexandra Apatiga, Editor-in-Chief

The women’s basketball team at Bakersfield College is hosting their first-ever BC Basketball Academy, a four-part training course for young athletes, ages 9 to 18, to help hone and improve their skills in the game of basketball.

The basketball academy focuses on training athletes in area such as balance, footwork, passing the ball, defense, offense, and shooting. Offered over a four-week period during the month of April, participants pay a $20 fee for each session and given hands on training by BC coaches, faculty, and basketball players from the women’s basketball team. The first session was on Saturday April 7, with each session afterward scheduled for a Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Gil Bishop Sports Center at BC.

The goal of these sessions, according to Bakersfield College’s head coach of women’s basketball Paula Dahl, to help these young athletes get better at playing the game and provide opportunities for kids to learn and improve.

“This is our first BC Basketball Academy ever and it’s something we defiantly want to do more of in the future for our community and the kids” said Dahl.

Alexandra Apatiga
Paula Dahl, the women’s basketball coach at Bakersfield College, teaching kids at the BC Basketball Academy the fundamentals of playing basketball.

Dahl explained that the idea for the basketball academy was to find a way to give back to the community and help young athletes learn at an inexpensive cost. According to Dahl, all the proceeds from the basketball academy will be going to the women’s basketball program at BC.

“Not only are parents giving their kids a great opportunity to get hand-on experience from players and coaches, but they’re also helping us with funding our team” said Dahl.

The four-week basketball academy, according to the head coach, will be focusing on a specific area for each of the four sessions. The first session which was held on April 7, had athletes practice on skills such as footwork, agility, balance, creating a quick shot, and increasing shooting percentage. The next BC Basketball Academy session on April 14 will be focusing on ball handling, passing, rebounding, seeing the floor and creating on offense. The next two sessions will be on April 21 and April 28, all starting at 10 a.m.

Dahl explained that each session, if parents bring their kids to all four sessions, is meant to help kids progress through basic training. “It’s a progression for these athletes,” explained Dahl, “by the end of session four, if someone decides to come to all four of our trainings, these kids and their skills will have greatly improved.”

Among the parents who brought their kids to participate in the basketball academy, Valerie Alvidrez, a BC alumnus and former basketball player on the 1986 and 1987 BC women’s basketball team, says she saw the academy as a way to help her daughter improve her skills.

“We received a flyer for the academy through a text and when I asked my daughter if she’d be interested, she said, ‘Absolutely!’” said Alvidrez.

Alvidrez explained that it’s the fundamentals of the sport which are most important, because you can never play basketball without it. She also emphasized the importance of education and how sports can help students focus in school.

“Whether its basketball or another sport, getting involved can provide an outlet for students,” said Alvidrez, “It helps kids better focus on their goals.”

Alexandra Apatiga
Emre Ozoral, assistant coach at the Bakersfield College, helping one of the dozens of children at the BC Basketball Academy by showing her how to hold a basketball correctly.

Alvidrez shared that she and her daughter would be returning to the next two sessions for the month of April, and hoped others would consider the same.

For coach Dahl, the next few sessions in April will help in planning possible session for the summer.

“I definitely want to continue these basketball training course for the future,” said Dahl, “I’m hoping that we can host a week long training academy in the summer of this year.”

Dahl went on to express her excitement at the turnout and the overall energy of the first BC Basketball Academy session.

“This was huge for us and it’s exciting to see how much the kids enjoy playing basketball” said Dahl.

“We’re excited to see where this goes from here.”