Stephan Deleon: A young Guyanese ‘baller’ with NBA ambitions
By Akeem Greene
“I want to be like Steph Curry; I want to play in the NBA, I want to be the best there is.”
He’s just 14, but Stephan Andre Wilson Deleon is clear on the path he wants to tread.
The talented point guard plays for Chase Academic Foundation in the youth basketball festival and is one of four recipients of scholarships to attend the prestigious IMG Sports Academy in Florida from August 12 to 18, for a Youth Core Sports Camp.
A Grade Nine student, Deleon relocated from British Virgin Islands (BVI) following the 2017 hurricanes and is described as an outstanding shooter and tenacious defender, who is highly focused.
“I am going to his camp for a week so I can get better in basketball; the camp teaches professionalism and there will be people there who will be there to help me, this is what I want to show my skills so I can go further in life,” the BVI-born youth expressed.
Based on reports out of BVI, Deleon has been a perennial standout in basketball camps since the age of four and is an All-Star player for Chase Academy.
With exceptional dribbling skills and impressive hand-eye coordination at such a young age, this ‘baller’ intends to win a basketball scholarship to attend university and eventually make it to the NBA.
“I fell in love with the sport when my father showed me a game with Kobe Bryant. He [Bryant] is a good player and I got interested and he inspired me to play basketball,” Deleon said.
He added, “When I have persons cheering me on, it motivates me to do well since one day I want to play the NBA.”
Deleon brings joy whenever he plays and school coach, Julio Ceasar Noa Naeias, had a mouthful to share when asked to describe his player.
“I could tell (you) Stephan is one student-athlete which is amazing; he has good skills and works hard in all positions. He has many skills, he thinks in everything and depending on the situation, he acts. I think he has high qualification to play in any system since he is good in class and on the court. I am proud of him. When he doesn’t play for the team it is like a fish without water,” the coach stated.
According to the IMG website, they are working with every individual student-athlete to identify and matriculate at the higher education institution that fits their academic, athletic and social needs. Often, those colleges and universities represent some of the highest-performing in the world.
The graduates have gone on to pursue academics and athletics at many of the schools U.S. News and World Report’s annual Top 50 list, including: Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Brown.