Atletas Primero Academia: Vancouver’s First Prep School in Development

Pasha Bains and Dwyane Washington, two prominent figures in the Canadian basketball scene, are teaming up to develop Vancouver’s first prep school. The Atletas Primero Academia (Athletes First Academy) will open its doors in September 2024, providing young British Columbian athletes with the opportunity to pursue their basketball goals with the support of top coaches and teachers in the city.

The founder of Drive Basketball, Pasha Bains and Dwyane Washington, founder of UPlay Canada, share a common vision, enabling them to offer a new experience to Canadian talents in the best way possible. According to Bains, “he brings a lot to the table, having connections to players and organizations worldwide. I am entrenched in B.C. from being involved in grassroots basketball for over 20 years. So I guess you could say that when you work together, you can go further.”

Prep schools help post-grad students improve their abilities, establish routines, and prepare for higher education. Previously, athletes had to travel out of the province or often the country for prep-level training, but now they can find it at home.

“This is the whole point of bringing prep school basketball here. Those kids that left were homesick. It’s not that they weren’t getting good training or getting good competition. They were homesick and wanted to come home. So this is the avenue where B.C. kids can pursue their dreams, train at a higher level, play at a higher level, but sleep in their bed at night,” said Bains.

For kids who dream about a university opportunity, many can look to the prep school route to prepare them for the challenges that university basketball presents for high school graduates.

“You have kids all over Canada and North America that already have offers, but then they choose to stay for an extra year just to get stronger so that when they do go to college, they’re not 17 or 18, battling 20 to 23-year-olds,” said Bains.

Atletas Primero Academia will feature three teams: a regional squad with students from grades 8-10, an academy squad running from grades 10-12, and finally, their prep team featuring players in their post-grad year.

For Bains, the primary focus and goal is to provide an alternative avenue for talent while creating jobs and opportunities for coaches in the province. Bains said, “There are a lot of good young coaches in BC, and there aren’t many jobs for high-level basketball. So I’m hoping the academy can provide an avenue for the young up-and-coming coaches to get something on their resume.”

This academy can be a crucial element in the evolution of basketball in Vancouver, and with the catalyst behind the club basketball scene running the show, the future is undoubtedly bright for the sport.

Additional information will be disclosed gradually, such as the location, personnel, and scheduling.

Overall, the Atletas Primero Academia could be a game-changer for basketball in Vancouver, providing local athletes the opportunity to develop their skills and pursue their dreams without leaving their homes. With great coaches and teachers soon to be on board and a range of teams catering to different age groups, the academy is bound to attract some of the best young talent from across British Columbia and beyond. it will be exciting to see how this new venture helps to shape the future of basketball in Canada.

Tejpaul Garcha

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