Rachel Simpson heads to the NBA Abu Dhabi Games as the Assistant Coach of the Jr.NBA’s Europe and Middle East Elite Girls team.
Earlier this year, Rachel Simpson was asked to attend the Jr. NBA’s Global Championships – Europe and Middle East Selection Camp in Rome by basketballscotland. The camp provided Rachel the opportunity to spend a great deal of time interacting and learning from ex-professional players and coaches from all over the continent. She was also able to experience the level of basketball played by such young players “The support they were able to give each other having just met was certainly a highlight.”
Having impressed at the camp, the NBA selected Rachel, who is also a coach at basketballscotland’s National Academy, to become the Assistant Coach of the Europe and Middle East Elite Girls team – becoming the first Scot to ever be chosen to progress from the selection camp!
Rachel has now travelled to Abu Dhabi to work with the team during a training camp, which is taking place during the NBA Abu Dhabi Games. With training, games, coaching clinics and cultural experiences, it will be a busy time for Rachel and the team. “I’m very much looking forward to listening, learning and just trying to take away as much as possible. It’s going to be great to work with the players that we last saw in Rome too, continuing to build on the work we started and get the opportunity to compete against other teams.” Despite the busy schedule, Rachel will also have the opportunity to watch the exciting pre-season games, as the 2021 NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks face the Atlanta Hawks.
When asked about the opportunity that the Jr.NBA programme provides for both players and coaches, Rachel commented: “I think the Jr NBA provides players and coaches a great opportunity to regularly play competitive basketball. The website is kept updated with skills and drills information to keep training sessions at a high level and hopefully we can continue to build the partnership, see more professional players coming to visit us and continue to send players and coaches to these next level camps.”
Want to keep up with Rachel’s adventures in Abu Dhabi? Follow the basketballscotland Instagram page here as Rachel will be giving a behind the scenes look at her time at the NBA Abu Dhabi Games.
Everyone at basketballscotland would like to congratulate Rachel on her success so far within the Jr.NBA. We look forward to watching and hearing about your trip!
Learn more about the Jr.NBA and how it benefits both players and coaches here
Snap from Rachel’s time at the training camp