The NBA has today announced the launch of Jr. NBA Play Like a Pro presented by Gatorade®, a tiered educational content offering breaking down basketball skills and tactics, available from today across France, Italy and the UK on OWQLO.
Gatorade joins as presenting partner, offering app users 16 years and older the chance to learn how to play like their favourite NBA players and join Q&A sessions with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton.
Q: Why do you love basketball?
CS: “The game of basketball has got me trapped just because I love to compete. I love to work hard and try to get better. Also the game of basketball has taken me to so many different places that I would’ve never imagine going to, it has taken me out of the country plenty of times and has taken me to meet so many different people and just change so many different lives. Basketball is something that means a whole lot, not just on the court but off the court as well.”
Q: How can you benefit from basketball?
CS: “I would say a young person can get out of basketball is friendships, knowing how to compete, being able to work with others and also just knowing how to work hard. At the end of the day, whenever you do something, you’re going to give it your all and that’s how I think of it. I know that not everyone is going to make the pro’s but as long you’re having fun with it and loving to compete, that’s all that matters.”
Q: What motivated you when you were young?
CS: “The motivation to play basketball was something that I just love to compete. I love the game of it and I wanted to be good at it. I wanted to be an NBA player so that’s pretty much what motivated me and what drove me each and every day just because I wanted to make the NBA.”
Q: What is the most important thing for beginners?
CS: “For a young person just picking up the game, you’ve got to have fun. As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters. Then it’ll start being more competitive once you get older. But you’ve just got to go out there and just have fun and build relationships and enjoy it. You’ve got to enjoy and at this level, we’re still enjoying it. We’re still having fun. It’s not always as serious as you as you think.”
Q: What fundamental should you work on first?
CS: “Being able to dribble. Whether you’re a big or whether you’re a guard or shooting guard, you have to work on your dribbling. Every team needs a ball handler, every team needs someone who is able to control the ball.”
Q: Most important advice from a coach?
CS: “A piece of advice that a coach gave me just to have short term memory. Don’t dwell on past misses or the past mistakes, just continue to move on. You’ve got to let it roll off your back, move forward. You can’t be thinking about your last turnover or your last shot. Play the game and play without worrying about mistakes, because at the end of day, you are going to make mistakes.”
Q: How do you deal with self-doubt and setbacks?
CS: “Well, through many different setbacks and difficulties, I just continue to look forward and look towards the good things I did. Never try to get too high or too low. I just always try to stay consistent and levelheaded and try to find the positive in pretty much any and everything, whether it’s basketball or whether it’s in life, especially if I feel like basketball is tough right now. Try to find the bits and pieces of things that I did well. The night of the game, where it may not have been my best game, I still try and find some things that I did well and need to improve on.”
Q: Which NBA players have the best technique?
CS: “I would say all the good scorers and offensive players, you’ve got Steph Curry, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, those are just active guard positions alone. If you’re talking about on the defensive side, you have Jrue Holliday, Patrick Beverley, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Ben Simmons. There’s different techniques for different sides of the ball and different people that you should be able to watch and learn from.
Q: What is your advice to the next Collin Sexton?
CS: “No matter the age or the grade, I will say just continue to grow. Continue to know your strengths and understand your weaknesses. And just try to get better at things. Make your strengths that much better. Improve on your weaknesses and know that your path isn’t going to be the same as everybody else’s. You may have a lot more ups, you might have a lot more downs than next person. Don’t ever try to compare yourself to the next person.”