In basketball ‘little things make big things happen’

Dear Editor,

Things that inspire the push for the development of Basketball in Guyana:

Seeing Haslyn Graham, Vice-President of the Linden Basketball Association sweeping water off of the Mackenzie Sports Club court after the Berbice v Linden game was washed out, so that his counterparts from the ancient county of Berbice who had travelled over a hundred miles could actually play some basketball in Linden.

The Georgetown and Linden female players turning up in full force for their game in Linden on May 31 when all weather forecasts suggested that rain would prevent the game from being played at the outdoor court in Linden.

Observing the courage of Dr Roger Luncheon at the Office of the President as he commenced a few Saturdays ago to assist Guyana basketball teams to obtain funding that would allow Guyana’s participation in the Caribbean Basketball 2014 Championships in Tortola, BVI. Dr Luncheon’s obvious courage during this period of his life fits well with a quote from the recently deceased Maya Angelou: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Hearing that Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh express support for the funding of Guyana Basketball teams for participation in the 2014 Caribbean Basketball Championships.

The work of sports reporters: Rawle Toney of Guyana Chronicle, Treiston Joseph of Guyana Times, Donald Duff and Duncan Saul of Stabroek News and Edison Jefford, Frankie Wilson and Sean Devers of Kaieteur News to keep the basketball community informed of the achievements of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) whenever they occur.

Mr Joseph Harmon reaching out to potential corporate sponsors and encouraging them to assist the GABF in sourcing funds for the Guyana male and female basketball teams’ participation in the 2014 Caribbean Basketball Championships.

The trip taken by the Berbice Basketball senior and under 19 teams to Linden amidst the stormy weather that was their constant companion on their historic trip to Linden to play on a dry weather court – the rain stopped any basketball games from being played, but the presence in Linden of the Berbicians represented how ideas can be bulletproof on an overcast and rain-filled night in Linden on Saturday, May 31.

The National Club Basketball Championships promoted as the Road to Mecca by GABF Vice President Michael Singh finished with the final game between the Raiders of Linden and the Ravens of Georgetown playing to a packed house at the National Sports Hall on March 23, 2014. Michael Singh’s unselfish and generous conduct was in no small way responsible for the success of the Guyana Basketball Club Championships.

The live performance of Candace Fields singing the National Anthem at the National Sports Hall on the above mentioned date to a Guyanese crowd that responded to her stunning rendition by showering her with fulsome applause.

Akeem Kanhai playing for Georgetown Elite executed a tomahawk style alley-oop after soaring to unimaginable heights and capturing the ball with one hand slightly above the square on the basketball backboard, then arced his arm back and finished by slamming the ball through the nets in an awesome display of athleticism and control. The contribution by overseas based Guyanese of basketball gear and equipment led by Karl Moore, Patrick and Paul Haynes and Zolile Hunte, among others, who have donated game clocks, shot clocks, basketballs, sneakers and other basketball gear to the Guyanese Basketball community.

Meeting with Mr Neil Kumar, Director of Youth and Sport in his office without a scheduled appointment and discussing basketball needs and development for over an hour – this occurred during the month of May 2014.

Seeing the former President of GABF, Mr David Patterson, support and stand with the players as they awaited access to the Sports Hall for basketball training sessions on Thursday, May 15.

The assistance and contributions provided by Mr Rex McKay, SC, Ms Jocelyn Dow, Mr Odinga Lumumba, Mr Troy Cadogan of Ansa McAL and the Guyana Olympic Association to support the efforts of the GABF.

To see the transformation and development of our East Coast Demerara basketball clubs, Melanie Patriots and Plaisance Guardians into competitive first division basketball teams in Georgetown and the passion and commitment with which they play the game.

Having Mr Sherwin Henry successfully complete the FIBA Referee exams during April 2014 in the Cayman Islands and allow Guyana to be once again counted among the countries with a FIBA referee.

Listening to the counsel of my former arch rivals from Pacesetters, Mark Agard, Dennis Clarke and Eon Andrews on the way forward for the development of basketball in Guyana; though their on-court actions have been forgiven but not forgotten.

The generous and dedicated nature of the Berbice Basketball community, as with little means they act with independence and reliability that is inspiring.

The foregoing anecdotes are perhaps captured best by a quote from the master basketball coach of University of California, Los Angeles, John Wooden: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

Yours faithfully,
Nigel Hinds
GABF President

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