August's Featured Player: Seth Lee
Possibly one of the biggest LeBron / Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans you could ever know, Callista’s support for the NBA superstar and his team is pretty hard to match. Often decked in Cavs gear and LeBron shoes during training, Callista is as intense and focused as her idol, working hard on both ends of the court with a playing style that is both dominant and unselfish.
12-year old Callista started off her basketball journey 4 years back in Primary 2 at Yangzheng Primary, where she joined the basketball CCA and went straight into the school team. Her basketball teacher-in-charge, Mr Jason Goh was one of her first mentors in the game, who inspired her with his passion for the game, spending long hours training her team in school.
Callista joined SG Basketball in 2014 and returned to the academy after a break to hone her overall skills, in order to become a better player in her school team.
At 1.57m and 42kg, Callista has improved herself over the past year to become an elite ball controller, with slick ball-handling skills, good court vision coupled with an uncanny passing ability, and a mature offensive game.
Callista’s school team achieved Nationals 2nd place in 2017 and 4th in 2018, where she was recognized with a National level Certificate of Excellence, the Outstanding Player award, being only one of 4 recipients in the division she played in.
Her family shares her passion for basketball, as her siblings Carnegie and Calvin are also training in SG Basketball Academy. Callista’s parents are very supportive and her mum can often be seen helping her to take a couple more extra shots after training. They also bring them to watch live NBA games whenever possible. Callista’s last trip to the US saw her family watch a live Cavs game during Christmas in 2017.
We interviewed Callista to understand more about this big Cavs fan and rising basketball star.
Editor: What is your goal in basketball?
Callista: My current goal is to achieve the MVP award in secondary school. I hope to do my school proud by possibly winning a championship in secondary school.
E: Is that one of the reasons you joined SG Basketball?
C: Yes, I believe I can improve my overall game in SG Basketball and play well for the school team.
E: What was your most memorable moment in basketball?
C: Watching the 2016 NBA Finals and LeBron win the championship title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was certainly the best comeback in basketball history and kept lots of Cleveland fans, like me, in much suspense.
E: Describe your idol LeBron James and tell us why you like him so much.
C: To me, LeBron is not only the best NBA player ever but also a motivator and inspiration to many. He plays fantastic and efficient basketball. His Basketball IQ is no doubt the best in the NBA. He does so many great things on court and often carries the team. He also makes sure that his teammates become greater and greater each day. LeBron cares for his teammates and sometimes even pays for their fines! He is never ignorant and always respects his fans. I've come to respect LeBron's ability to make smart plays, leadership, court vision and unselfishness. He is definitely my role model! #LeGoat #TheKing
E: What do you usually like to do, apart from playing basketball?
C: Using my phone to chat and check NBA updates. #ballislife
E: Do you have anything to express about your family support for you?
C: I want to thank them for their support. Without them, I would not be here today. My mum and dad have been rushing and accommodating to my time just so I can go to SG Basketball and train and become better. The amount of support they show is almost impossible for anyone to match. Thank you.
E: Alright, here’s a fun question for you. If you are on a team with Steph & LeBron and your team is down 2 points with 4 seconds to play and they are both open, whom would you pass to and why? Or, would you rather take the open shot yourself?
C: I'll pass to Lebron. Cuz LeBron is capable of anything in court. He can set up a shot for a teammate, shoot a 3 or drive for the dunk or for the layup!
With her talent, Tanya soon became an integral part of her school team. She continued to mature in her team game, learning the hard way when her Coach once benched her to help her understand certain team concepts. She grew from the experience and eventually helped to lead her team to win the National title in the same year.
Currently at 13 years old and 165cm, Tanya has a physical advantage that gives her plenty of flexibility as a player, able to play any position from guard to centre. As she continues to hone her skills, Tanya made the decision to enter SG Basketball Academy where she is striving to achieve her goals of becoming a National Player and in the long run, a basketball coach.
As we welcome Tanya into the SG Basketball family, we conducted a short interview with her to understand more about her.
Editor: What is your most memorable moment in basketball?
Tanya: I was elated when my team clinched the national championship title not only because it shows our skills as basketball players, it was a clear recognition of the hard work and dedication each member of the team put in and the strong bonds we forged in the process of our training.
E: You mentioned the huge respect you have for your Coach. Can you share more about what you think about him?
T: He is very strict during training and pushes us to our limits so that we can perform our best during matches. At the same time, he is very approachable outside training. He is a dedicated coach who strives to build camaraderie within the team. Without his efforts, our team would not be where it is today.
Seth’s first contact with the game of basketball took place when he tried out at SG Basketball Academy in September 2015. At 8 years old then, Seth was one of the younger trainees who started off in the academy as a fresh beginner to the game.
A memorable moment for Seth at his first training was when he played a game of Dribble Knockout during training. He was scared initially as many people were all over trying to knock his basketball out and it was tough controlling the ball and moving around with it at first. However, Seth soon got the hang of it and came close to first place in the game, and he was exhilarated about the result. He fell in love with the game ever since.
Seth’s first basketball match saw him representing SG Basketball in a game with Nanyang Primary School in March 2016, which his team won by a wide margin. Since then, Seth has always been diligently attending training and finding ways to improve his game at the academy. Seth shared that he felt that training with different people during SG Basketball training allowed him to have much fun and make new friends, and he learnt the value of resilience from our coaches.
Seth attends both Skills and Team Training sessions at SG Basketball Academy where he learns different skill sets for his overall game. He may not be the biggest or strongest player out there, but Seth holds his own over other players with sound ball-handling skills, hustle play and relentless defence.
Seth is a steady contributor on his team of U11 boys where he is one of the team’s scorers and defender. His unselfish style of play has helped his team in getting easy points through the season. He has already played 2 seasons with his current U11 team in a local youth league and continues to grow his game with each passing day. To date, Seth’s team finished second in the previous season of the league and is hunting for a championship next season.
Coach Ow Yu Jie who has been coaching Seth and his team, quips, “Seth is a reliable player who never fails to give 100 percent on the court. But what impressed me the most about Seth is his leadership ability and responsibility off the court.”
We had a conversation with Seth and found out more about his goals and what he hopes to achieve in basketball in time to come.
Editor: What’s the most memorable moment for you in basketball so far?
Seth: Actually I have two, the first is beating Coach D in Dribble Knockout and the second is beating Coach Shengyu in Shooting Knockout.
E: What’s your biggest accomplishment in basketball to date?
S: Getting second place in the youth league. I felt happy that we accomplished this and hope to do better next season.
E: What do you think is your role on the silver medal team you played for?
S: Playing the point and distributing the ball for my teammates to score. I hope to contribute more in terms of scoring next season. I am working hard on my shots and layups.
E: What do you feel are your biggest strengths and weaknesses as a player?
S: My strength is dribbling and my weakness is shooting.
E: How do you think you can overcome your weakness?
S: Training to take shots from different spots on court.
E: What’s your personal impression of your coach’s guidance in your team?
S: I feel that he teaches well and emphasizes discipline during training. He will challenge us to do many layups. In terms of mentality, I learnt not to get angry or shout.
E: It is important to keep a cool head and focus on the game.
E: I understand that your parents are very supportive of you in basketball and your mum was the one who encouraged you to pick up the sport. Here’s your chance to say some words of appreciation to them, so go on!
S: I want to thank them for their support and letting me join SG Basketball/ Mum and dad are both my biggest fans!
E: So, what is your biggest dream in basketball?
S: To become a basketball coach.
E: Wow, that is really cool. We look forward to welcoming you into our coaching ranks in future.
E: Why do you want to become a basketball coach?
S: So I can teach others what my coaches here have taught me through the years.
E: Finally, what’s the first thing you would teach your trainees when you become a basketball coach?
S: I would teach them how to dribble the ball.