Sixteen-year-old Kyle Fraser displays a level of confidence and maturity that is well beyond his years. These qualities, bolstered by his exceptional skills on the basketball court are what the young Jamaican believes will propel him to the highest level in the sport-the NBA.
“My ultimate aim is to reach the NBA,” the 6ft 5 inches athlete said. “I love basketball, I love helping and motivating my teammates. I find the sport very fun...it helps to relax my mind, it makes me feel very free.”
Kyle first experienced this “freedom” of playing basketball while attending the Montego Bay Christian Academy. The school did not have a basketball team, but they had a hoop on a field, and he enjoyed shooting hoops.
When he started the Herbert Morrison Technical High school, the basketball coach there-Dave Black, noticed his natural talent.
“I was in one of my physical education classes, and we were doing basketball, and the coach, Dave Black, saw the potential in me and he told me to come to training and from that day forward, I never looked back,” Kyle said.
He added; "Dave Black played a significant role in my development, he’s a father figure to most of the teammates and always pushes us to be our best.”
Kyle was made captain of both the under 14 and under 16 teams, and propelled both teams to winning the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 championships. He plays both point guard and shooting guard and said his mindset going into a game is always focused.
“I like to listen music, I meditate by myself in my little corner, I try to relax my mind as much as possible.”
His dream of making it to the NBA is now closer to becoming a reality, thanks to P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy. Fulfilling its mandate of giving student-athletes exposure to greater opportunities, and elite training methods, the academy hosted an ID camp at the Herbert Morrison Technical High school on August 7.
Participants who showcased great skill were offered scholarships to further develop their talent. Kyle was one of those participants. On Friday (August 27) he left the island and his community of Rhyne Park Village in Montego Bay to attend the Sequoia Charter High School in Phoenix Arizona in the US.
Kyle has since joined the school's basketball team and is pursuing his studies.
“I felt really well knowing that I work so hard and now I have this opportunity that not many people in my country get opportunities like these. So I have to take this opportunity and make the best of it,” Kyle said.
He shared that taking advantage of this opportunity was easier for him knowing that has the support of his family.
“They are very proud of me. And I just want to thank them for giving me the space to grow, to be who I am now, and I just want to make them very proud.”
When Kyle achieves his ultimate dream of playing for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, he wants to join efforts in making basketball a bigger sport in Jamaica.
“I want to give back to my country, to my school by setting up a fundraiser and help other youth who look up to me, so that they can reach where I’ve reached,” he said.
He also had some encouragement for younger basketball players who have already made him a role model.
“Continue pushing yourself, continue working for what you want and be confident, if you don’t have confidence in what you want to accomplish, then you won’t get where you need to be.”