Dermot Russell, NABA: “Education and Basketball hand in hand”

How was the NABA Academy born?

NABA was established in August 2014 by founder Dermot Russell. After playing basketball in his youth and experiencing the sport while in America, Dermot wanted to offer an opportunity for players in Ireland and Europe develop to their highest ability while attaining a top-quality education. Central to this is the idea that to reach their potential, players would need programmes to maximise their time on the court and exposure to the best coaches in a high-performance environment.

The NAB academy has a high level of basketball coaches, excellent facilities and educational programs such as language learning and online second-level education that runs alongside the basketball development programmes.

How does it work?

Players will contact us through our website or social networks and speak with our coaches about their goals. We then help them towards their goals by selecting the program that best fits their needs and goals in basketball.

The age range of our players is between 14 and 20 years old and within these ages we offer programs such as Full Time Academic programs, Prep-School programs, Transition Year programs, and summer training camps in Dublin and Lanzarote (solo basket).

Also, this year you have expanded it to Spain, based in Lanzarote. Why? How will it work?

We opened NABA Lanzarote to provide another base for international players. Our philosophy of NABA Lanzarote will be the same as that of NABA Ireland since our method has proved successful for players in recent years.

To do this, we have chosen to hire Carles Orive, former Valencia basketball coach.

Carles; “I am leaving Valencia Basket, where I have been for the last 4 seasons, I have learned a lot and I am very grateful to the club but being able to lead a project of this magnitude with the potential that we have ahead is very motivating for me.”

NABA is going to celebrate its second Lanzarote camp this July and August 2021.

What opportunities will be presented to the players training in your academy?

The opportunities that we present to the players is the possibility of being able to achieve professional contracts in national and European clubs or to continue their academic and basketball careers in the  . As of today, we are pleased to announce that we have sent 55 players to the United States on college scholarships and 15 players have signed their first professional contracts in Europe.

What financial and educational requirements are required to enter the NAB Academy?

The cost of training at NABA will depend on the program that the player decides to enrol in. At NABA, we have three core programs: the full-time academic program, the prep-school program and the transition year program. The full-time academic program is offered through the US High School and UK Secondary School systems for students considering international university options.  All programmes are offered in English and are supplemented by bespoke NABA courses including English, Sports Psychology and Mental Toughness. In addition to daily academic & English coursework, student athletes take part in advanced basketball and strength & conditioning sessions. The prep-school program offers secondary graduates an opportunity to polish their basketball skills, strengthen their bodies, and complete the necessary coursework to be eligible for international university options, as well as improve their English. Transition year,  Student athletes can take a year out, be part of an academy that will push your basketball abilities beyond what they currently might be, and at the same time allow you to explore a new city.

What is next for the NABA academy?

After the success we have had with our programs, our long-term vision is to establish a headquarters in the United States, which will improve player connections between Europe and the United States and will also allow us to attract international talent.

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