Lamar Odom will make basketball return with Philippine team in Dubai tournament

David Cooper 20/12/2018
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Ex-NBA star Lamar Odom will feature at the Dubai International Basketball Championship to be held in February 2019.

The 39-year-old took to Instagram to announce his return to professional basketball, revealing that he will be playing for the Philippine basketball team in the tournament.

Odom wrote on Instagram: “I’d like to announce that I will be playing in The Dubai International Championship this February 1st 2019. I will be representing team [Mighty Sports] from the Philippines with my 4ever #7.”

The tournament is scheduled from February 1 to February 9 next year and will be the first time the former Lakers forward takes to the court since 2015 when he faced a health crisis.

The last time he played professionally was in 2013 for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Philippine team will be participating in the tournament for the second time and will be led by basketball coach and expert Charles Tiu, according to The Filipino Times.

In reference to professional 3v3 basketball leagues usually featuring retired NBA players, Odom wrote: “To me this is a great warming up for the @thebig3 !! It’s been a minute since I’ve professionally competed and I hope to be as explosive as I used to be!”

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Denver Nuggets' Mason Plumlee to host second annual youth basketball camp in Dubai

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Mason Plumlee with kids at his 2017 camp in Dubai. Picture: Chris Whiteoak/whiteoakpictures.

Denver Nuggets forward and former NCAA champion Mason Plumlee is set to return to Dubai to host his second annual youth basketball camp.

The Mason Plumlee Basketball Academy will be held August 28-31 at AFLEC School as part of the 2018 DUPLAYS dxb Hoops Summit, an event promoting the growth of basketball in the UAE.

Plumlee’s camp is open to youth ages 8-18 and will feature skill development, competition and personalised training led by an NBA star and team of world-class US and international coaches.

“I’m very excited to return to Dubai,” said Plumlee. “I enjoyed my experience last year and look forward to an even bigger and more exciting camp this summer. There will be something for everyone – for kids who are new to the game and advanced players looking to take their skills to the next level.”

Plumlee’s first visit to Dubai was during a brief team trip with the Duke Blue Devils in 2011. He enjoyed that experience so much that he vowed to return to spend more time in the Emirates.

That opportunity came in 2017, as he partnered with DUPLAYS to host his first-ever international basketball camp at GEMS Wellington Al Khail last June. The camp was one of the first for an NBA player in the region. Plumlee is the only NBA player to host camps in the UAE in consecutive years.

“It’s an honour to share my love for basketball with kids in one of the world’s great cities,” said Plumlee. “Based on my experience last year, it’s clear that there is a demand for quality basketball instruction and opportunities for local youth to learn the game.”

All camp participants will take part in a full programme of on-court drills and games and receive an autograph and photo with Plumlee as well as a Nike t-shirt. Coaches from the USA include several recent college and professional basketball stars, including members of the NCAA Champion Villanova Wildcats and staff from Kobe Bryant Academy. The registration fee is Dh900 per person and interested individuals can register at www.duplays.com.

Plumlee hopes that the camp will help grow the game of basketball and give kids a valuable – and enjoyable – learning experience.

“Basketball doesn’t require a great deal of expense or a lot of space,” said Plumlee. “You just need a ball and a hoop. Once kids have exposure to playing the game and realise how fun it can be, they’ll be hooked.”

Plumlee and DUPLAYS are exploring a partnership that would include annual camps and a year-round basketball development programme for youth in the region, as well as a world-class training and certification program for instructors.

For Plumlee, it’s a natural next step as an ambassador of the game.

“Basketball has always been an important part of my life. My parents both played in college. My two brothers play in the NBA. I’ve learned from and played with some of the best players and coaches,” said Plumlee. “Now I want to share these experiences with kids in Dubai around the world. My goal is to make this a long-term commitment.”

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Binary Financial knock off three-time defending champions Vipers for Ball Above All Elite League title

Jay Asser 23/07/2018
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Binary Financial are champions of Ball Above All's Elite League.

Binary Financial dethroned three-peat champions Vipers in Ball Above All’s Elite League championship to claim the crown, bragging rights and Dh10,000 in cash prize money.

Despite UAE national team player Qais Al Shabibi catching fire to knock down 11 3-pointers for 49 points, Binary Financial pulled out a thrilling 98-93 win at GEMS Dubai American Academy on Friday.

Amer Al Sati had 28 points to lead a balanced attack for the champions, who also received 24 from Brandon Williams, 18 from Ammar Faroug and 14 from Edmir Lucas.

Williams earned Final MVP honours for his all-around game as he contributed 12 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and four triples in addition to his 24 points.

For Vipers, Al Shabibi had support from Mahmoud Tarrab, who had 24 points of his own, but no other player reached double figures as their top-heavy scoring punch fell short of a fourth consecutive title.

Binary Financial’s Bilal Abdullah, who didn’t play in the final, was awarded Season MVP for averaging 27.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.6 steals.

During the final, Seyd Diahlo walked away with Dh1,000 for winning the half-court shoot-out, while Kathi Karcher was awarded a GF7X Molten ball for winning the shooting challenge.

The season is now over, but basketball lovers can still sharpen their skills with Ball Above All’s four-day clinic, held from July 27-30 between Raffles World Academy and Dubai Stars Sportsplex.

Open to both adults and children aged five-plus, the clinic is the perfect for players of all levels.

Check out www.BallAboveAll.ae for more information and to register.

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