Two of Great Britain’s best, Kieron Achara MBE and Georgia Jones, have been named among the 21-player cohort to complete the latest FIBA Player’s Mentorship Program course, and are looking forward to putting their newly earned qualifications to good use.
The program has been developed by FIBA for National Federations and is set up to train Player Mentors that can support all youth elite players in their respective countries.
The course has many aims, chief among which is to help players achieve their highest level on the court whilst also increasing the education among professional basketball players so they can have a smoother transition to working careers after they walk off the hardwood for the last time.
Speaking following the conclusion of the course, GB Women’s International Georgia Jones said:
“I’m really pleased to have been able to pass the course. It was a year-long process, which was really good as I was able to continue to play and work alongside that, and it was all catered to enable us to be better mentors for younger and aspiring players who might be looking for advice or mentorship.
“I’ve been involved in basketball for as long as I can remember and, now that I’m coming to the end of my playing career, I’m itching to give back even more than I have been up until this point, not just by sharing my experience but helping others make their own decisions in an informed way.
“It has been really useful to inform what I do next as well, because I am thinking about what I do after playing when I do decide to bring that part of my career to an end. Coaching seems like a further step away from me than mentorship does, so I am excited to see what opportunities that provides for me and how I can best give back.”
Kieron Achara MBE added:
“There was a lot of things that came to light on the course that I found really helpful because they were just things that you kind of take for granted, to be honest. Even things like understanding how the needs of the individual you’re speaking to can be completely different to what your needs were as a player, and I just learnt so much.
“There’s so many players wanting to give back, but doing it in the right way is so important. Having that legacy and having former professionals staying in the sport to advise the next generation is so needed so that young players have mentors to guide them who have ben there and done it.
“I’ve learnt so much and I’m certainly a lot more mindful of the need to listen first before giving advice and making judgement. I’ve always had people coming to ask me things and I’ve enjoyed facilitating and helping people understand their options, so this course has been great to help me navigate that process correctly, which is a really important thing.”
Both Achara and Jones’ new qualifications will be put to perfect use in the near future as the GB legends will be involved in mentoring and educating players on British Basketball’s high performance pathways. Huge congratulations to both on their success in passing the course.