By Carlena Knight
Eight Antiguan and Barbudan basketball players will, this weekend, compete in the US at the Pittsburgh ‘Live’ Period event.
The weekend tournament which runs from April 23-25 will put youth players on display to scouts and recruiting officials for various high schools and colleges.
Team NYC Antigua comprises of two Barbudans — 6’11 center Jamine Charles and 6’ 9 guard Shamoi Tonge — while 6’2 guard Jaden Andrew, 5’9 guard Ronde Davis, (son of basketball legend Eustace ‘Spud’ Davis), 6’3 guard Tehran Zachariah, 6’5 guard Seth Joseph, 6’6 forward Donte’ Trimmingham and 6’9 center Timothy Charles round off the eight-man squad.
Byron Andrew, one of the local coaches behind this move explained the main reason for the players to compete in this event.
“The purpose for this team is to expose them. At this tournament, there is going to be college coaches actively recruiting players. The NCAA gives coaches a certain period to approach and make offers to players and this is one of those periods,” Andrew said.
Andrew, who is a coach at the Wadadli Elites basketball club, further revealed that local officials are considering making the tour an annual event similarly to what was done some years ago with the Pitbulls programme where players travelled to Milwaukee for several youth tournaments, opening the doors for many youth ballers at the time to receive scholarships.
“This is a yearly thing we want to push because again, the kids need something to look forward to. You have them here working them out every week but they need something to look forward to, so if we can put that into our regular schedule every summer to travel and expose them,” Andrew explained.
“If everything works out this week, then we are hoping to get another invite again in July to play in a few more if the AU Circuits,” he added.
The team will play their first game on Friday at 8 pm.