At the age of 17, Bastián Calderón dreams of getting high in the United States. Seeing him doesn’t seem to be hard to get to the top. This young Iquique-born basketball player living in La Serena stands out for his presence and long 2.02 meters high, six centimetres less than the Los Angeles Lakers pivot wing, Anthony Davis, the last NBA champion.
«It’s the goal I had since I was a kid,» Bastián told hoyxhoy. The young national athlete was awarded a scholarship after receiving a sports and academic offer at West Nottingham Academy located in Maryland, Washington D.C. and will represent the «Rams» at U.S. High School.
But nothing else came like this. The North American was seen by American veedores in Miami and Washington by participating in the camps organized by Elite Training Sports, an initiative that allows different young athletes to live the training experience, in this case as the big NBA stars in the United States, allowing them to be seen by different coaches participating in the most important basketball league worldwide.
«It’s a great opportunity, it’s the beginning of a long road. I know it will be difficult and there will be many obstacles, but I can assure you that I will not give up on achieving my goal,» says Calderón.
Now his most immediate goal is to play in the NCAA college league so he can make the big leap, if all goes well, to the NBA. Why not the Chilean national team, Bastián? The spied sportsman says that «there is nothing more beautiful than representing your country in what you like to do. If I have the opportunity I would like to support my country in achieving its goals.»
And the 17-year-old has references: Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. «They were a great example of motivation and constant work for me,» he explains.
Chilean from the north has been in the United States for almost a month. He went to leave his family and elite training sports team at the airport. His father, Christian, excited said goodbye to him with a noticeable difference in height. «My biggest dream was for him to fulfill his,» the father says.
«When Bastián returned from the camp held in Miami we saw a giant change. He came back with another discipline, he trained every day. We realized that the path he had taken was serious,» the sportsman’s dad added.
One of Bastián’s coaches was Sammis Reyes, a Chilean basketball player based in the United States and co-founder of Elite Training Sports alongside Kenneth Padilla and Matías Ahumada, believes Calderón «has great opportunities to grow a lot playing in america as long as he stays focused and sacrifices more than the rest to get his dreams.»
Elite Training Sports CEO Kenneth Padilla has to closely track the progress of young people who enroll in this experience. Padilla says Bastián immediately caught his eye because of his stature. «His appearance has nothing to do with what his personality really was like, as he was one of the shyest in his group,» he says.
«At the Miami camp he was one of those who showed greater evolution, both physically and mentally. In a game we played against High School participant Westlake Prep, Bastián caught the attention of the coaches and they had the intention and a rapprochement to offer a scholarship. But everything fell down and I think it was for the better since at the time I wasn’t prepared for a challenge of that caliber,» he adds.
But apparently now Bastián is ready. The young man says that being in America especially playing basketball is an absolute dream and that it allows him to aspire to much more. «I want to be the best version of myself, » he closed.