By Carlena Knight
The contingent who represented Antigua and Barbuda at the recently concluded IBF Antilles 3×3 Basketball Tournament saw the youth players bring home two gold and two bronze medals but, unlike the original format, players were made to play on a mixed team with players from other countries.
Gemma Hazelwood, 3×3 Coordinator for Antigua and Barbuda, says although players were disappointed the tournament offered much more than competition.
“We called a meeting with the team and parents because everybody had to be aware of what was happening before we left and of course, you know, we like the competition and we always have a friendly rivalry between all the islands.
“There was a feeling of disappointment generally but as I said to them there is so much more that is going to be delivered in this tournament than just the game. There were a whole lot of workshops that were organised for them.
“Life skill workshop, leadership workshop, communication skills, even in terms of play, practical workshops. Teaching them the skills of 3×3, teaching them tactics of 3×3 so it was so much more than just the final competition element.”
He says that, although he is intrigued by the new format, regional coordinators will be pushing to have both the mixed and island versus island formats.
“I had a constant discussion with them because although I really appreciate the new format for what it is I think there is a way that both of them can happen so until next year’s tournament myself and all the coordinators around the region have committed to try and see if we can take that conversation to IBF asking them to find a way that we can still do the mixed [which] presents something real interesting to see.
“All these guys know each other, they’re accustomed to playing with one another and to see them play with other leaders and there are a lot of alphas but what we are trying to tell them is that these guys travel together, train together, they practice together, it’s a national pride thing so let’s do that mixed because it’s two days of tournament. So, let’s do that mixed the first day and maybe the second day have them play country against country,” Hazlewood added.
The male team comprised of Chance Lewis, Jamie Robinson, Rhonde Davis and Tehran Zachariah while the female team was Shavon Joseph, Mary-Jane Grant, Jahlieshia Knowles and Rhea Richards. Athalia Ralph was the Team Leader.