By Carlena Knight
The eight youth basketballers who competed in the US at the Pittsburgh ‘Live’ Period event finished third out of 48 teams.
The weekend tournament which ran from April 23-25 saw 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.
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 rounded off the 8-man squad.
Byron Andrew, one of the local organisers of the tour, praised the youngsters on their performance.
“I’m happy. I am over the moon where that is concerned. I was a firm believer that these could not only just show up for a game, but competed with anybody in the world and they have proved me right,” Andrew said.
Andrew revealed that due to the success in this tournament, the team has been invited to compete next weekend and also have a few tryouts with schools, one even being in Connecticut.
He admitted that trying to put these pieces in place is costly, and that if there was a national fund in place for elite athletes, matters like these could be easily addressed.
“We are working it out now. A few of them have some family members close by, so we are seeing if they can stay with them, but I will have to put them into a hotel in a few days because they need to practice.
“I am not going to pretend like it’s cheap where they are and this is why it’s so important for us to find funding nationally for elite athletes. If we have to put a portion away from the Education Levy so that we can have funds if we want to send an athlete to a track meet or try-outs, that it’s there, but we need to do something. It needs to be a national effort,” he added.
Andrew, who is a coach attached to the Wadadli Elites Basketball Academy, is adamant that tours like these need to occur every year to give youth more opportunities.