Top Flight Basketball Academy is the premier basketball instruction institution in Southeast Asia. We hold clinics and camps at leading international schools in Thailand and Hong Kong. From building fundamental skills to honing finesse on the court, we also operate youth and men's leagues throughout the year and provide ample game opportunities for our Elite Teams.
Top Flight is led by Ike Nwankwo, a member of the 1995 NCAA championship basketball team at UCLA and a former NBA player. After a year on Thailand's professional ABL team, Ike traded in his basketball shoes for a whistle. Since 2010 he has been devoted to spreading the love of the game and coaching the sport that has brought him so much joy and success.
Top Flight is founded on a simple and straightforward recipe we call the 5 Golden Rules for Success. We meet every child at their individual skill level and build them up to their highest potential.
Our coaching staff includes current and former professional, university, and national team players from countries around the globe. We offer the most serious and informative, and at the same time the most enjoyable basketball clinics in the region.
Our Mission is to share our passion for the game of basketball with the next generation of young players. We believe this starts with instilling a deep appreciation and understanding of how the game is meant to be played.
Our primary aim at Top Flight is to use basketball as a vehicle to teach players important life lessons about hard work and determination, teamwork, leadership, and courage. We hope to inspire the next generation of leaders on and off the court.
In addition to these goals, Top Flight also works to promote the game throughout Asia with our innovative training programs, clinics, and special events.
Top Flight specializes in teaching and promoting the game of basketball at the youth and high school levels. Our programs include after school activities, camps, individual and small group training, and specialized clinics. Each program is designed to be age-appropriate, engaging, and enjoyable. Most importantly we aim to equip our players with the skills and the knowledge to become the best basketball players and young people they can possibly be.
The primary focus of all of our programs is teaching the proper fundamentals of the game of basketball. Fundamentals are the foundation of a successful basketball player on any level, from a high-school varsity player to an NBA All-Star.
Success on the basketball court is based on knowing and executing the proper fundamentals in game situations. As young players learn the game of basketball they are prone to pick up bad habits -- habits that are difficult to break as they get older. At Top Flight we believe in carefully instilling the proper fundamentals of shooting, passing, ball handling, and footwork. These core skills are consistently reinforced with hours of practice and repetition through stimulating drills.
Whether your child is a serious player with aspirations of playing at the highest levels, or a fan of the sport who enjoys playing as a hobby, we guarantee your child will see an improvement in their basketball skill level, athleticism, and confidence after training at the Top Flight Basketball Academy.
FOUNDER: IKE NWANKWO
Ike Nwankwo is a UCLA graduate, coach, and former professional basketball player. He is originally from Houston, Texas where he was a high school All-American at Cypress Creek High School. He graduated in 1992 and accepted a full basketball scholarship to UCLA where he was a member of the NCAA National Championship team in 1995. He followed his collegiate career with a 14-year professional career, which included playing with several NBA teams like the LA Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also played in top professional leagues in eight countries. Ike's wealth of experience comes from working with some of the best coaches and players at the highest levels around the world.
B.A. University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), 2001,
Winner of the 1995 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award
Directors Honor Roll
Member of the 1995 NCAA National Championship Team
NBA BASKETBALL EXPERIENCE (VETERANS CAMP)
Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles, CA
Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland, OH
Houston Rockets, Houston, TX
Miami Heat, Miami, FL
Toronto Raptors, ONT, Canada *SL
Phoenix Suns, Phoenix, AZ *SL
Dallas Mavericks, Dallas, TX
*SL = Summer League
4 LEVELS OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
At the beginner level, classes emphasize motor skills, agility and hand-eye coordination. These skills are needed for success in any sport. We believe kids at this stage can build a solid athletic base by participating in a wide variety of different activities. At this stage, it is equally important to make sure students are enjoying themselves and want to come back each week. We create a fun, low-pressure environment in these classes to develop positive associations with sports.
At this stage our priority is building a strong foundation, key to future success on the court. Level 2 is a critical time to instill the proper fundamentals of passing, shooting, and dribbling to give players a strong base they will be able to draw from their entire basketball lives.
A majority of the time in these sessions is spent on reinforcing proper technique and skills through drilling and small-sided games. We introduce positions and the functions of each position in a game. We take care not to assign or pigeonhole players into one position or role on the court. It is just as important for the biggest player on the floor to be a good ball-handler, as it is for the smaller player to be a good rebounder.
Fun remains center-stage. We want our players to always be motivated, engaged, having fun, and unafraid to make mistakes.
At Level 3, we incorporate the all-important SAQ (Speed Agility Quickness) concepts into our training sessions. As much as 30 to 40% of practice time is spent improving overall athleticism with strength training, footwork drills, and exercises that enhance the player's endurance and overall conditioning. Students learn to understand the connection between being in good shape and the ability to succeed on the basketball court. Players are introduced to advanced team concepts in addition to more challenging individual skill work. As players progress, more time is spent in 5-on-5 competition and simulated game situations.
In Level 4, a tremendous amount of emphasis is placed on advanced team concepts, tactics, and strategies on offense and defense. It is at this stage that players begin to develop their overall basketball IQ. Players start to appreciate the impor-tance of the game's mental aspects and how these facets are just as crucial as the physical aspects. More time is spent on position-specific skill work. The importance of diet, rest, and conditioning and their impact on on performance are also highlighted.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Don't take our word for it, have a look at what our community has to say about the Top Flight Basketball Academy!
JAKE VIGODA, PARENT
“We have two kids in this program. It is an excellent program - who would have thought: a world-class basketball academy would be in Bangkok! “
GEORGE LEE, PARENT
“Top Flight Basketball Academy is by far one of the best basketball academies my son has attended. Coach Ike treats each player equally and he encourages each player to reach his or her full potential. The training is intense and I have definitely seen an improvement in my son’s performance. Not only is he a coach but an influential role model that leads by example and inspires his team players. He follows through with his expectations of his team players. We are so grateful to have such a great program in our community”.
ARTUR CRUZ, PARENT
“As parents we appreciate how committed the coaches are. You can just feel the energy in the gym. That’s why so many of us parents like to stay and watch. They are disciplined athletes that care about their craft, and successful professionals. They are great examples for the kids to follow”.
GWEN RATCHADA, PARENT
“The coaches at Top Flight Basketball were energetic, caring and enthusiastic. The instruction and skill development was top-notch, and the players were able to apply their learning during gameplay. Most importantly, they had fun and developed friendships with one another. My son has attended several of the camps and basketball has become his favorite activity. This is due in no small part to the attention that Coach Ike and his staff give to each player. I highly recommend their programs”.