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June's Featured Player: Callista Koh

     

Possibly one of the biggest LeBron / Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans you could ever know, Callista’s support for the NBA superstar and his team is pretty hard to match. Often decked in Cavs gear and LeBron shoes during training, Callista is as intense and focused as her idol, working hard on both ends of the court with a playing style that is both dominant and unselfish.

12-year old Callista started off her basketball journey 4 years back in Primary 2 at Yangzheng Primary, where she joined the basketball CCA and went straight into the school team. Her basketball teacher-in-charge, Mr Jason Goh was one of her first mentors in the game, who inspired her with his passion for the game, spending long hours training her team in school.

Callista joined SG Basketball in 2014 and returned to the academy after a break to hone her overall skills, in order to become a better player in her school team.

At 1.57m and 42kg, Callista has improved herself over the past year to become an elite ball controller, with slick ball-handling skills, good court vision coupled with an uncanny passing ability, and a mature offensive game.

Callista’s school team achieved Nationals 2nd place in 2017 and 4th in 2018, where she was recognized with a National level Certificate of Excellence, the Outstanding Player award, being only one of 4 recipients in the division she played in.

 

Her family shares her passion for basketball, as her siblings Carnegie and Calvin are also training in SG Basketball Academy. Callista’s parents are very supportive and her mum can often be seen helping her to take a couple more extra shots after training. They also bring them to watch live NBA games whenever possible. Callista’s last trip to the US saw her family watch a live Cavs game during Christmas in 2017.

We interviewed Callista to understand more about this big Cavs fan and rising basketball star.

Editor: What is your goal in basketball?
Callista: My current goal is to achieve the MVP award in secondary school. I hope to do my school proud by possibly winning a championship in secondary school.

E: Is that one of the reasons you joined SG Basketball?
C: Yes, I believe I can improve my overall game in SG Basketball and play well for the school team.

E: What was your most memorable moment in basketball?
C: Watching the 2016 NBA Finals and LeBron win the championship title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was certainly the best comeback in basketball history and kept lots of Cleveland fans, like me, in much suspense.

E: Describe your idol LeBron James and tell us why you like him so much.
C: To me, LeBron is not only the best NBA player ever but also a motivator and inspiration to many. He plays fantastic and efficient basketball. His Basketball IQ is no doubt the best in the NBA. He does so many great things on court and often carries the team. He also makes sure that his teammates become greater and greater each day. LeBron cares for his teammates and sometimes even pays for their fines! He is never ignorant and always respects his fans. I've come to respect LeBron's ability to make smart plays, leadership, court vision and unselfishness. He is definitely my role model! #LeGoat #TheKing

E: What do you usually like to do, apart from playing basketball?
C: Using my phone to chat and check NBA updates. #ballislife

E: Do you have anything to express about your family support for you?
C: I want to thank them for their support. Without them, I would not be here today. My mum and dad have been rushing and accommodating to my time just so I can go to SG Basketball and train and become better. The amount of support they show is almost impossible for anyone to match. Thank you.

E: Alright, here’s a fun question for you. If you are on a team with Steph & LeBron and your team is down 2 points with 4 seconds to play and they are both open, whom would you pass to and why? Or, would you rather take the open shot yourself?
C: I'll pass to Lebron. Cuz LeBron is capable of anything in court. He can set up a shot for a teammate, shoot a 3 or drive for the dunk or for the layup!

 


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