Kingston’s Maggie Besselink, committed to the Arizona State Sun Devils women’s basketball program this fall, has another trip planned south of the border this weekend to the National Basketball Association all-star game in Chicago to participate in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp.
The NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) runs the camp, which invites the top international 64 girls and boys from 34 countries and regions to Chicago for the sixth annual camp, which will be held Friday to Sunday.
During the weekend, campers will go through a variety of activities on and off the court, including attending the NBA all-star skills competition Saturday night and the 69th NBA all-star game at the United Center on Sunday evening.
Besselink, a guard with the Holy Cross Crusaders senior girls team, is one of two Canadian girls invited to the camp along with three Canadian boys.
Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards participated in the 2019 event in Charlotte, N.C.
There will also be skill development sessions for the players, including movement efficiency, shooting and skills competitions and 5-on-5 games.
There will also be life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication, a news release from the NBA said.
The weekend will wrap up with a single-elimination tournament culminating with the boys and girls championship games.
“I’m excited,” Besselink said. “I’ve never gotten an opportunity to do this and I’ve never actually competed worldwide yet representing Canada, so I think it’s going to be a cool experience.”
In the elite basketball environment, Besselink will be looking to improve her skills further.
“For Team Canada, they’re looking for me to play more of a guard position, so I’m hoping to increase my shooting range and my ball handling,” she said.
Besselink will be trying out for the Canadian U18 team that will be competing at the FIBA Americas Tournament in June.