RETIRED PBA great Jimmy Alapag lauded the East Asia Super League (EASL) initiative 'Stars of Tomorrow' aimed at creating a new training and development program for top youth players in Asia.

Alapag, now part of the Stockton Kings coaching staff in the G League, said the program is a big help among young players in enhancing their fundamental skills and at the same time, learning the game from a professionals' perspective.

"I previously coached at East Asia Super League's coaches' clinic which had more than 55 different coaches from around the world. I know how valuable these types of programs are for development at all levels, and I can't wait to work with EASL again to help the next generation of talent," said the 44-year-old guard, one of the 40 Greatest players in PBA history.

Alapag twice graced the EASL pre-event in the past and once conducted a coaches' clinic during the 2018 Super 8 tournament.

The elite training program for young players will be launched during the 2023 offseason.

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The program involves on-court activities, including pro combine drills and team scrimmages in a tournament-style format.

Off the court, they will also participate in interactive educational sessions led by industry experts, such as current and former top players and coaches in the region as well as appearances from EASL NBA ambassadors

It's not only Alapag who appreciates the youth program, though, but just about everybody in the league.

"The energy, camaraderie and competitive nature will create an exceptional learning environment for the next generation of elite basketball players. I'm excited to see what EASL has in store and I'm looking forward to working with them more on this initiative," said EASL Ambassador Metta World Peace.

Former NBA player and current Bay Area Dragons big man Andrew Nicholson also said, "I remember going to elite basketball camps in high school, and that is what inspired me to go on this basketball journey. I was introduced to professionals like Steve Nash, trained and learned from him."