George Hughes: Basketball Coach Calls For Return Of Scholarship Programme

Head coach of the Antigua and Barbuda senior men’s basketball team, George Hughes
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By Neto Baptiste

Head coach of the Antigua and Barbuda senior men’s basketball team, George Hughes, is pushing for a re-energising of the association’s once vibrant scholarship programme in the hope that young players can eventually get into schools across the world.

Hughes’ call comes just as the association is set to start its five-week summer camp this weekend at the JSC basketball complex.

“We actually also want to try to re-energise our overseas scholarship programme to the US. We want to see if we can re-ignite the entry into high schools and to colleges and I don’t think up to the college level is sufficient.

“I think we need to do some work in finding ways and pathways for them to go to the professional ranks,” he said. 

Hughes, who will oversee the camp catering for both boys and girls between the ages of six to 17, said the camp is a necessary component in getting the game back on stream following a lengthy hiatus due to Covid-19.

“Because of the past two years, we have a lot of talent that the association needs to identify for the benefit of the FIBA competitions that continue to go on, then they need to identify these talents and they need to put them in a structure where they have a specific type of training in order to go and compete at the regional and possibly higher level,” he said.

The coach, who has had success on the local front with the Flyers team, said he is fully committed to the task at hand.

“At this point in time the basketball is in need of re-energising of that youth component so Michael [Freeland] and his team have been behind me for a long time.

“Since Covid a lot of things have changed in terms of people’s personal lives, but I am committing myself for the next couple of years to try and help them organise their programme and put it on a footing that even if I am not there it can still operate with somebody else at the helm,” Hughes said.

The camp carries a registration fee of $20 and will be conducted by some of the top coaches both within the association and the schools programme.

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