Former basketball head seeks return to office

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Sports administrator and a former head of the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA), Jules Bowen, has listed the upgrading of at least one facility to international standards as high on his to-do list should he be elected to head the national association when elections are held later this year.
Bowen, who led the association from 2009 to 2013, announced he will contest the pending elections that have been brought forward form the original December date to a date in October.
“We are going to be looking at the upgrading of a facility or some facilities so that we can host international games and you know that the standards for CBC and FIBA are set and we have to make sure we upgrade one or two of these stadiums so that we can accept home and away games so we have to make sure that these facilities are upgraded so we can host these games. We have a window of about four to six months where we can get these upgrades done,” he said.
Bowen also listed the introduction of a scholarship programme, a hall of fame and a summer programme for young players among his plans for the sport.
As for what fuelled his drive to pursue a fresh tenure in basketball administration, Bowen is hoping that through the sport, he can provide the same push he received in the past to young and aspiring players in today’s game.
“The way I see myself in life today, because of the discipline I learnt in basketball as a youth training with the national basketball team and also I played with the Clippers basketball club and the coach who was there taught me a lot of discipline and that discipline stayed with me through my life. It caused me to be a little bit more positive in what I do and it has propelled me to be an administrator, a very good business employer and I am progressing to be the leader again as the basketball president,” Bowen said.
Meanwhile Franz DeFreitas, one member of Bowen’s intended slate, revealed plans he believes are necessary if clubs are to fully capitalise and benefit from the business end of the sport.
“This initiative that Jules has suggested that we are going to put together is to go and give technical and capacity building opportunities for the management of these teams so that they can have income to play with outside of sponsorship just like any other professional organisation where not only is there an income line coming in from sponsorship and their income and expense statements but they would have the opportunity to merchandise products, engage the fan-base in a better way so that they can develop money. I don’t think enough effort has been given in the past across sports in general, to put emphasis in making sure that teams have the skills necessary,” he said.
One other individual and a member of the current executive, Kebra Nanton, has also expressed an interest in contending for the association’s top spot.

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