High hopes for U-16 ballers

Coach of Barbados’ under-16 team Zahir Motara is backing his charges to win the 2016 Caribbean Basketball Championship (CBC) that runs July 3 to 8 in Guyana. 

Speaking with Barbados TODAY, Motara said he thought they had a very good chance of making it into the top three. 

Team Barbados (top, l-r) Renico Brewster, Alexander Odle, assistant coach Dean Squires, Kiserian Adams, Rasheed Arthur; (center, l-r) Darren Nurse, Christan Holder, coach Zahir Motara, Rasheed Maynard, Xavier Odle; (bottom, l-r) Deroni Hurley, Chemar Steele, manager Charlene Leacock, Makaari Jones, Zachary Moore.
Team Barbados (top, l-r) Renico Brewster, Alexander Odle, assistant coach Dean Squires, Kiserian Adams, Rasheed Arthur; (center, l-r) Darren Nurse, Christan Holder, coach Zahir Motara, Rasheed Maynard, Xavier Odle; (bottom, l-r) Deroni Hurley, Chemar Steele, manager Charlene Leacock, Makaari Jones, Zachary Moore.

“I think we have a very cohesive unit. The boys have been working really hard and I like our chances in terms of competing and hopefully making it into the top three,” said the former national captain and top shooting guard. 

Rasheed Maynard of Alexandra School and Christan Holder of Harrison College will both captain. In terms of their strength Motara explained that due to a lack of tall players they would look for guards like Maynard and Makaari Jones to deliver. 

“Our strength lies mainly in our guards because we don’t necessarily have a lot of tall or big players. Then our forwards who are two of the most important people in our team which are [Kiserian] Adams and Alexander Odle will be the core of the team in terms of the way we are looking to play. Everybody will be looking to help each other because it is a team and I would not necessarily say we have individual star talent. But I think the guys are coming together pretty well in terms of competing,” he said. 

Trials began in January with 40 players and the numbers have been cut to exact 12. Motara noted preparations had been going well with each player hard at work. . 

The competition consists of two zones and Barbados are grouped in Zone A with Antigua, Bahamas, Dominica and British Virgin Islands whom they will play at 3.15 p.m. on Sunday in their first encounter. If Barbados finish in the top three they will automatically secure a place to compete in Centro Basket which is another level above CBC. 

Other team members are: Zachary Moore, Chemar Steele, Alexander Odle, Xavier Odle, Renico Brewster, Darren Nurse, Christan Holder, Rasheed Arthur and Deroni Hurley. Reserves are Tariq Inniss, Jevaun Mason and Tre Ward. 

Management includes Charlene Leacock (manager), head coach Motara, assistant coach Dean Squires and Denzil Jackman. FIBA officials from Babados are Rene Batson and Jennifer Joseph- Hackett.

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