Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Kishan Cooper will be one of several girls from her school to participate this summer in the international training and competitions presented by 365 Sports. Cooper and others will travel with the program to North Carolina, where two-day training will take place, and then off to the Bahamas to compete in two basketball tournaments.
“A couple of girls on our basketball team got a letter from 365 Sports stating that we have been chosen to play for their program during the summer,” said Cooper.
Cooper is a tenth-grader at Dobson High School in Mesa. Her parents are Scott and Callie Cooper.
365 Sports is an elite training and international tournament provider for student athletes. They focus on delivering “an outstanding summer sports experience filled with advance training techniques and international competition.” From July 30 through August 7, Cooper will be playing in two tournaments in the Bahamas.
She will leave on July 28 for her 10-day trip. Her first stop will be the two-day boot camp in North Carolina where she and her team will train with NBA trainer Ganon Baker. From there she will be heading out to the competition in the Bahamas, for another eight days.
“As the day gets closer, I am starting to get nervous,” said Cooper. She said some nervousness about the trip also hit her the day she took her photo for her passport.
“I have been playing since I was six years old in the little leagues in the Community,” Cooper said. She is also starting to work on her endurance, and will be in basketball camp for her school before she leaves for North Carolina.
“The drills they do are going to be different from what we learn here at our school, and the competition and talents on the court that everyone else brings will also be different, and I can compare my skills to theirs,” said Cooper. Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant’s personal trainer will be at the practices to teach students advanced basketball skills.
Cooper said she has been working hard on her ball-handling skills and passes.
“The competition of basketball motivates me to continue to play, and once I know my limit I usually push harder,” she said. “My coaches also say I handle pressure really well and I have the game for it once I have the ball, but I need to work on my confidence levels.”
Scott Cooper said he is very happy that his daughter has been invited and given the opportunity to go on the trip and represent her family, the Community and the United States.
The letter from 365 Sports read, “I am excited to recognize you as one of the premier basketball players in the Phoenix area. Our coaching staff recently identified you at either an NCAA exposure event or a local tournament as a tremendous young talent. In recognition of your skill development and invested dedication and hard work, you are invited to train with Professional Basketball Coaches and participate in the 365 Sports Training Boot Camp, followed by an opportunity to travel and represent the United States in International Tournament competition this summer. … ”
In the Bahamas, Cooper will play in two tournaments, the Tropical Shootout and Great Goombay Challenge. She will also have the opportunity to experience both Freeport and Nassau/Paradise Island, interact with other foreign athletes and tour the historical attractions of the Bahamas.
Cooper is thinking about taking basketball all the way to junior college and possibly farther in the future. This summer she also will be participating in the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI).