A balancing act for Camille Nolasco as she juggles acads and basketball

  • Sep 05, 2021

Camille Nolasco is just only 16 but she’s already been touted as one of the future faces of Pinay basketball, considering the fact that she had been one of the country’s stalwarts in the Jr. NBA program that already produced the current superstars such as the Ravena brothers, Kobe Paras and Kai Sotto.

On deck as the fourth guest in Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ Women in Charge last August 13, she told Bea Daez her vital lessons in playing and training alongside the world’s best as she balances her act as a student-athlete at Miriam College as well as being part of the NBA Academy Women’s Virtual Program, even in a time where school sports were virtually non-existent in the country owing to the pandemic.

Like everyone who lived the mantra of “ball is life”, Nolasco first learned the game with her family, as they have the comfort of having a half-court in their own home which was something similar to the host’s beginnings.

“Back then, nakikita ko yung dad ko and yung brothers ko nagba-basketball po sila,” she said.

“Nakikisingit-singit po ako sa kanila. Nakikipila rin po ako.”

With her father being the first coach, she then enjoyed learning the basics and fundamentals that became handy when she got to play in organized basketball

“Yung pinaka-important lesson na nakuha ko dad ko, no shortcuts talaga. Everything na makukuha ko, dapat paghihirapan ko,” she then added.

“Never po ako dapat masasatisfy sa sarili ko.”

With those mindsets in place, the intense nature of their games in their own backyard became commonplace. And even Camille was not spared by it and took it in stride in the process.

“Every time na nagtetraining kami ng dad ko, sobrang go hard kami. Nasanay na akong masigawan dahil sa kanya.”

With that tenacity instilled in her, Nolasco went on to play varsity for Miriam’s starting in grade school and along the way, she tried her luck at the Jr. NBA training camp to come up short to be part of the Global Games for her first two stints.

But that persistence paid off on her third crack in representing the country way back in 2019, where she finally made it into the Jr. NBA Global Games in Orlando, Florida as the lone Filipina in the Asia-Pacific squad and the youngest at age 12.

For her, it was the ultimate dream of flying the flag that made the grind worth it.

“Every time I have a goal, I won’t let anything na magstop sa akin from reaching that goal.”

And the blessings did not stop for Nolasco two years later, for she was the lone Pinay that became part of the 50-strong inaugural NBA Academy’s Women’s Virtual Program that teaches not just basketball, but also leadership training as well in a span of eight weeks.

For her, it was a heartwarming experience wherein she learned a lot on and off the court, as she had a busy schedule not just as a basketball player, but also as a diligent student.

Still, she still wanted to work hard and be the best that she can, as Nolasco aims to be part of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s setup.

And with that, she has this advice for all aspiring female cagers.

“Just never stop working hard. Kasi hard work talaga yung magdadala sa atin to places na hindi natin maiimagine.”