By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Michael Freeland, is hoping that coming out of a pending five-week camp, the body could launch an under-17 youth basketball league that could see young players enjoying the game all year round.
The camp, which is slated to start July 1, will cater for two age groups with the first being from 6-12 years old and the other from 13-17 years old.
“Coming out of the camp, it is the intention of the executive to create, you can call it a development league, a G league or whatever you want to call it for the under-17s only, and have continuous basketball so that these guys continue to play basketball rather than just come together for a tournament and then they go back to schools or back to the community and that’s it, and then they come again in the next six or seven months to play. We want to make sure they are playing basketball all year round,” he said.
The camp, which will cater for both boys and girls, carries a registration fee of $20.00 and will be conducted by some of the top coaches both within the association and the schools programme.
“We’re looking for those same athletes that will perform this weekend [in the Wadadli Elite camp] to also be participants in our summer camp simply because we will be looking for the next national under-13, under-15, under-17, under-23 teams. George Hughes, the head coach, will be running it along with the local coaches. We have spoken to the schools coordinator, and some of the coaches within that programme have indicated a desire to be a part of the summer camp, as well as, we have a few other coaches in schools who have also expressed their desire to be a part of the camp,” Freeland said.
The newly-elected president revealed also that a select team will compete in a tournament involving other regional teams.
“It is our intention afterwards that we will have a small tournament with, I believe, the under-23, and the under-17 where the under-15s would fit in and we are looking to have that tournament with either us hosting it here in Antigua with the participants from St. Martin, Tortola and St. Kitts, or we will travel to St. Martin, and we are in those discussions right now with those same teams,” he said.
For registration, interested persons can call 724-5588 or 770-2928. Registration closes on June 29.