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Diversity, exceptionality and uniqueness can be found everywhere you look at IMG Academy

IMG Academy basketball program's Junior National Team
IMG Academy basketball program's Junior National Team exemplifies IMG's overall identity through their uniqueness and diversity

IMG Academy is known for its state-of-the art facilities, elite coaches, and distinctive environment. The IMG Academy basketball program Men's Jr. National team represents that identity with pure perfection. With student-athletes from over 10 different countries (India, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Columbia, Turkey, Senegal, Bermuda, and Guam) diversity and exceptionality is evident in all that this team does. This group of twenty young men have traveled from all over to come to the world-renowned IMG Academy to train and compete with the best of the best. We have taken a deeper look into two members of thisextraordinaryteam to gain a take on their overall experiences at IMG Academy always stimulating 450-acre campus.

Kevin Soin (Junior from Munich, Germany)

…how you found out about IMG Academy

“My mother owns a shop back in Germany, and her neighbor's son came here last year and he had nothing but great things to say about it. Also, we have a house in St Petersburg so we decided to check IMG out one day and I immediately fell in love with the place. The whole atmosphere just seemed perfect for me, and it has been. I definitely made the right decision coming here, best thing I ever did.”

…thoughts on IMG Academy coaching staff

“They are perfect. They are always ready and willing to help you with whatever you need. They are available and more importantly willing to work with us on whatever we want to work on. In a normal facility, or with a normal coach, they would only be available at certain times. Yet here, we always have professional coaches on site ready to improve our game. I have never seen or experienced a coaching staff like this before, it's really uplifting. There is a coach for everyone. They really know how to work with all types of athletes. They understand how to relate and work with kids who have come from all types of backgrounds and all types of countries”

…other than basketball what has IMG Academy helped you with

“Other than basketball, IMG Academy has exposed me to so many cultures that I would have never experience if I didn't come here. I would have never been introduced and/or become friends with my teammates and coaches that I have met here. IMG has made me extremely well-rounded, formed my character, and helped me grow immensely.”

… basketball compared to in Munich

“A big difference that I noticed here is that if there is good game going on, than everyone gets together and watches it together. You are never alone; you are constantly surrounded by people who have the same passion and excitement for the same thing as you do. Which is extremely encouraging. Practice wise, it is so much more intense. I still remember sitting in school last year and I couldn't cross my legs because I was so sore. Yet, even though it is intense, I wake up every morning and I am excited for practice; wanting to learn and grow."

… being away from home

“At times it is tough being away from home. Yet, our overall busy schedule helps out a lot. It keeps us on the go and our mind occupied, so you really never have time to actually be homesick. Plus, with how close our team is, they have all become like a second family to me.”

Patrick Toure (Senior from West Africa)

…how you found out about IMG Academy

“I found out from a friend when I was living in West Africa. He knew about a lot of schools in the US because he was originally from the States. I looked it up online and showed my parents and it all seemed to escalated and grow from there. It is my first full year here, and it's an exciting environment."

…thoughts on IMG Academy coaching staff

“The coaching staff here is top of the line. The main thing I like at IMG Academy, coaching wise, is that they don't just develop one aspect of a person. For example, I am taking a nutrition class this semester and I am learning a great deal about to how eat healthy. They have a coach for every aspect you need to become successful. Unlike most places, IMG focuses not only on the physical side of things, but everything else as well. Making their athletes extremely well rounded.”

…basketball compared to in the Ivory Coast

“I have spent my whole life in Africa, yet my mother is from Kansas. So, I come to visit her in the States every summer. They are two really different places, I appreciate both of them in my own way. One major difference is that basketball really isn't developed in the Ivory Coastas much as it is in the US. Until I came to IMG Academy I never really played organized basketball, I would always just play for fun with my friends. Also prior to coming to IMG, I had never really been coached professionally. Another huge difference is that even though players are really strong back home, players can't shoot nearly as well as people over here can.”

… being away from home

"It is tough being away from my family, especially because I am the only one from my area. Yet, our team is like a family and even though we are all from different cultures we all are in a similar situation which has provided a support system for one another.”

IMG Academy basketball program's Junior National Team

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