Karlie Samuelson

By: Matthew Rodrigopulle — The National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program (NBYMP) is expanding to the United Kingdom this year, bringing unique and holistic mentoring to youth across the United Kingdom.

The NBYMP initially started in Canada and is a non-profit organization that uses basketball to connect youth with various mentors, such as professional basketball players Kayla Alexander (WNBA), to guide them in sports and in life. In Canada, the program has grown to include over 1500 youth and over 75 mentors in just over three years.

“We’re very excited for this expansion,“ said NBYMP founder Kevin Wilson. “Structured mentorship and holistic development should not be confined to a particular area. Every young athlete, regardless of location, gender, race, etc., should have someone to talk to. Someone to learn from.”

The NBYMP UK will provide FREE mentorship to youth in the UK 19 years of age or younger and will also provide services both on-and-off the basketball court. Off-court teachings include sport psychology, nutrition, financial literacy, athletic development, injury prevention, spiritual development and more. 

The NBYMP has already been making moves to localize the program for children across the UK. Several professional basketball players from both Great Britain’s men’s and women’s national teams have joined as mentors, including Danny Evans, Johanna Leedham and Karlie Samuelson. These mentors will take part in on-court programs and train children in workshops and camps, as well as assist them in off-court mentorship and advising them through their daily lives.

“As one of few professional players from the UK, I feel it’s incredibly important to inspire and support the next generation, so being involved with NBYMP is a great way to do that,” Evans said.

“The younger generation look up to us as professional athletes and if we can give them guidance based on our own experiences in the sport and in life it will help them achieve success of their own.”

Those same feelings are reiterated by Samuelson, who says she wants to give back to the next generation after having many mentors growing up herself.

“I think this is a great program to bring to the UK,” Samuelson said.


“Basketball is growing and for young girls and boys who want to play the sport and the NBYMP is going to be a great tool to help them realize their goals.”

 Leedham feels that the UK has a lot of potential to grow in the basketball world and it starts with the youth.

 “The UK needs a lot of help in the basketball area and I think programs like this can help grow the game,” Leedham said. “There’s a lot of potential when you look at talent, but we need some guidance and we need funding, which is a big thing. But we have to use all the resources we have access to right now and I think placing mentors is a great idea and is something that we can do to help.

 And what can parents expect for their children in this new basketball experience?

 “Parents and children can expect a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights from professional athletes whose footsteps they may want to follow one day,” Evans said.

 Samuelson says to expect a great group of mentors who are knowledgeable and have plenty of experience playing basketball.

 “Learning and growing on and off the court my whole life, I’m looking to help in any way that I can by sharing some of my experiences, giving advice and just being there for kids who want to learn and strive for their dreams,” said Samuelson.

 Other mentors for the NBYMP UK so far, include Kieron Achara, Myles Hesson, Rachael Vanderwal, Alasdair Fraser, Eilidh Simpson, Jamell Anderson, Alexander Geddes, Georgia Jones, Danny Evans, Kennedy Leonard.

 Follow the NBYMP UK on social media. Facebook: National Basketball Youth Mentorship Programme – NBYMP UK Instagram: @nbymp_uk Twitter: @nbymp_uk





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