Topeka basketball players set to compete on national stage

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Four Topeka teens will compete on a national stage at the Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando.

At just 13 and 14 years old – they’ll be going up against some of the best basketball players in the world in the 14 and under division.

Kiki Smith, Zoe Canfield, Brooklyn DeLeye and Jada Ingram play for the Nike Missouri Phenom and will be representing the central region in the tournament.

“I’m hoping to you know, just do well, play together with my teammates and put our name on the map,” said point guard Zoe Canfield.

Getting to tournaments like these isn’t easy. It takes countless hours of practice and dedication.

“I go to the gym every day and put a lot of work in with my sisters because I know it takes a lot of practice for these big tournaments,” said guard Kiki Smith.

Their coach Jordan Canfield said he sees just how much work they put in, and is happy to see it pay off.

“These girl spend a ton of time in the gym,” said Canfield. “I know they’re already in the weight room. So, not only are they in the gym with me, but they spend a ton of time in the gym on their own or with their school teams. A lot of them play multiple sports, so, it’s a big commitment.”

But, it’s not just the competition these players are looking forward to.

“You get to meet a lot of new people,” said Zoe. “You get to have new contacts. You get to learn not only on the court but off the court too.”

“They get a chance to do community service,” said Canfield. “They get a chance to see the WNBA players, some of the NBA players. So, they see such a big part of the world.”

Regardless of the result, the experience they’ll get will help them grow as people and as players

 The team will open up the tournament by taking on the southeast region on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

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