Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) President Nigel Hinds said the main focus of the federation presently is on the upcoming international series against Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) rival Bermuda.
The local senior men’s side is scheduled to oppose Bermuda in a three-match series on March 11th, 12th and 14th at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in preparation for their possible participation in the 2015 CBC Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Speaking exclusively to Stabroek Sports, the GABF chief said “Firstly, you should be aware that hosting Bermuda from March 10-15 is our foremost priority at this time. We have not hosted a Senior Men’s National Team in over 20 years to the best of my knowledge.”
Hinds added:”Also the Bermuda Men’s National Basketball team’s visit to Guyana will be the first ever.”
Quizzed if the GABF has the necessary finances to participate at the 2015 CBC tourney and if not, how will it acquire the funding, Hinds said:”GABF had no financial capital in 2014 to attend the CBC championships, yet we managed to take both male and female teams to the championships, we prevailed over all odds through faith, determination and the goodwill of Guyanese.”
He added “We don’t see why this should be any different in 2015. Also, with elections being held before the championships, we anticipate that the Ministry of Sports post elections will do the right and fund the Guyana National Men and Women’s teams participation in the 2015 CBC championships scheduled for Tortola, BVI.”
Questioned which foreign and local players will not be eligible for international honours, he said:”The issues with the uniforms were handled adeptly by the GABF. Currently only uniforms from Dwayne Roberts, Rawle Marshall and Andrew Ifill are outstanding.”
He further said “Also each of those players owe GABF $150,000 each and they have also been banned until July 31, 2015 or whenever the fined is paid; whichever comes later”
Asked if GABF will be fielding a female team in the tourney, Hinds said “Guyana Female team is an integral part of GABF basketball; and the question is really akin to asking if Guyana should have any female Ministers in Government. Sexism is outdated”.
Bermuda is expected to arrive on local shores shortly. Their touring party which will be led by Head Coach Roderick Spencer and his assistant Gavin Mackenzie, will feature players Husayn Symonds, Jamie Cedenio, Jason Lowe, John Lee, Jonathan Lowe, Sullivan Phillips, Kevin Stephens, Jeron Haley, Chris Crumpler and Vernon Lamb III.
Completing the management setup for the visitors are Team Manager and Bermuda Basketball Association (BBA) President Greg Todd and Team Physician Dr. Carl Mackenzie.