When Aerial Wilson received an email from Ganon Baker Basketball saying, “Congratulations you have been selected to come to our Live NCAA College Coach-National Girls Event…” the 11-year-old jumped at the opportunity.
Unaware of the tremendous talent in the Deep South and the only Canadian invited, Aerial’s goal was to learn from the experience. The weekend presented an abundance of skills training, testing, game experience and a ton of basketball knowledge.
Aerial, a Grade 7 student at R.A. Riddell School, is in love with basketball and already has a goal in mind — an academic/athletic scholarship and to play in the Women’s National Baskeball Association.
“I’m gonna dunk,” said the determined youngster.
David Omerod of Saltfleet High School organizes the Ganon Baker Basketball camp every year.
“Ganon Baker’s camp is the best,” said Aerial. “It gives me a new, tougher basketball mentality. It makes me a bigger threat on the court with more knowledge and moves.”
Aerial said that on the first day of camp, which took place in Atlanta, Ga., she couldn’t stop thinking about how big the other girls were, but decided not to let her height hinder her performance.
“I played aggressive, strong and confident with the ball,” she said. “I gave my best on both ends of the court, always trying to be a part of the play. I had some moments and a lot of room to grow.”
Playing alongside some the top-ranked players in the nation was an honor, said Aerial.
“I met so many great people and learned a lot from this camp. Playing against these girls has made me jump higher, run faster, pound harder, stronger and tougher. This experience has shown me what I need to do to accomplish my goals and live my dream.”
During the camp, a series of tests were conducted to analyze the athleticism of the girls. Aerial was ranked ninth overall in lateral agility out of 130 athletes tested.
To up the excitement factor of the event, Kelly Kline of Full Court partnered with Ganon Baker Basketball to host the Fresh 50 Invitational tournament. Aerial is hoping to earn a spot in the televised game next year.