JSC vandalism could force lockdown, as basketball association seek solutions

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Constant vandalism at the JSC Basketball Complex, could force the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) to resort to stringent measures in an effort to curb the ongoing destruction at the facility.
This is according to president, Daryll Matthew, who said the move is still being considered only as a last resort as they work towards a more practical solution to the problem.
“We never wanted to resort to having to lock the facility because members of the public use it to play basketball, and so on, but it’s just getting to a point where we’re being saddled with a lot of the expenses that come along with our non-use of it,” he said.
“Someone would come and use it for whatever activity they are having and we have to pay to clean the place. Players come and they play basketball up there, which is fine, because it’s a public court. Then you throw the ball and break the bulbs, and we have to replace the bulbs. And so the constant repairing and the wear and tear of the facility for activities that we are not even using it for, it’s burdensome,” Matthew added.
The facility was recently hit by vandals who removed padding from a wooden platform erected just south of the court as an intended “VIP” area. The vandals, Matthew said, left other surprises also.
“I can’t even begin to imagine why someone would choose to steal a 20 feet long piece of padding and what they plan to do with it. The one we had last year, someone had come and cut it up. We had our air conditioning system stolen last year … We got a new one and put burglar bars over it, and there was an attempt to steal this one,” the president said.
“It’s just disgusting, vulgar, and sick, I don’t even know how to describe it because someone came, defecated on the patio for the building. I don’t know what sort of sick pleasure they could get from something like this,” he added.
The issue of vandalism is one that has however affected the facility for some time and, according to Matthew, all security options are being considered.
 “It’s an option but there is a cost as well and unless we can get it provided because we are talking about 24 hours security, which, in itself, is another cost because during the day is not necessarily a huge problem because there are always persons in and out. When you need security is really at nights into the wee hours of the morning,” he said.
“I’ve had occasions where I’ve driven past JSC and see a vehicle parked on the court and I can’t imagine what somebody would be doing parked on the court at 2 o’clock in the morning,” he added.
The 2018 Division 1 basketball competition is currently ongoing at the facility.

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