The Guyana Amateur Basket-ball Association (GABA) plans to introduce a premier league competition this year.
So said president of the association, Trevor Rose, who told Stabroek Sport that the idea came from observing the tremendous success of the recent Kashif and Shanghai football tournament.
“I had the pleasure of attending the 19th annual Kashif and Shanghai football final at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence and the support given to the dynamic duo by football fans was overwhelming.
“It set my heart racing as I would like to see the same support for basketball, hence the introduction of a premier league competition in Geo-rgetown,” he declared.
“If all goes well with sponsorship, as I am in the process of negotiating same, then basketball players in George-town, at the first division level, will be participating in a premier league competition which will be played on a round robin basis.
Rose said the semi-finals and final of the competition would be best of three and best of five encounters respectively.
According to Rose, 2008 was a tremendous year for basketball after he was elected president of GABA on September 7.
“The first thing I did was to meet with the clubs and enquired of them what their expectations were.”
“Having listened to the clubs, the executives of the GABA then notified them of our expectations,” he added.
“As a new association, we brought back to the public, outdoor basketball which was widely received by both the players and spectators alike.”
Rose said the GABA also formed a disciplinary committee which was soon in action.
“I must say that we’ve had some incidents which required both players and coaches facing the disciplinary committee, but that aside, our relationship with the clubs is great,” Rose declared.
CASH and school’s basketball
Rose said the GABA plans to re-introduce competitive basketball at the secondary school level this year.
“It has been awhile since basketball has been organized and played at the school level by the GABA and one of my goals for this year, is to have a competition at the school level.
He said the high cost for renting the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) at times drove promoters away from using the venue.
“When you look at utilizing the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall for an indoor competition, the cost for doing so is high as you have to pay for rental as well as security and this is driving away organizers from using the venue which is the only indoor venue with proper facilities here in Guyana.
“I would like the respective personnel to revisit the contract with regards to renting the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall especially the financial side of it, in the interest of sports especially basketball.
For some clubs, it would be a privilege to compete at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.” said Rose.
The GABA head also reflected on the tragic death of Courts Pacesetters’ player Kevin Worrell during the association’s first tournament after taking office.
“It was during the running off of the Five-a-Side basketball retreat, that he met his death. That was a sad day not only for the association, clubs or fans, but the sport. So with that in mind, we renamed the tournament, which will be played this year, the Kevin Worrell/Lens Craft Optical third-division competition.
”We wanted to do so for last year’s tournament, but decided against it. But definitely this year’s tournament will be named and played in his honour and memory. Added to that, we have facilitated and received the services of the Red Cross medical team for our competitions, be it first, second or even third division.”
“One of my ideas for this year is to take outdoor basketball back to the venues of yesteryear, such as the National Gymnasium courts. We have met with the National Sports Commission (NSC), the Ministry of Education and all the stakeholders involved, to get the sport active in dormant areas.
“I am also looking to bring in a top International Basketball Federation (FIBA) official to conduct a referees’ course for our local referees.
For far too long, players have been suffering at the hands of poor officiating by our officials and I would like to see such come to a halt,” said Rose.
“Apart from all those hiccups that we faced, I would proudly say that the year 2008 was a very productive one for basketball and I am looking to make this year a better one. I am looking to continue where we left off and to the clubs and their players, I say a heart felt thank you for the support and I hope that they have seen, how stringent we are on discipline.”