Basketball SOS

Official sponsor pleads case for assistance

Basketball in Barbados could do much better with a triple-team and a few assists.

That was the suggestion of general manager of Co-operators General Insurance, Anton Lovell, as he addressed the opening ceremony of the 2015 Co-operators General Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Junior Basketball Competition at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex this evening. Lovell said though the level of the sport on the court was good, he was not satisfied with the facilities which accommodated it and called on three sporting entities to join forces in the cause of basketball.

General manager of Co-operators General Insurance, Anton Lovell
General manager of Co-operators General Insurance, Anton Lovell

“Basketball needs a fairy godfather; needs a home. The YMCA! I cannot believe my eyes when I look and see the state of the YMCA facility. Something has to be terribly wrong, there has been no improvement to that facility in ages. It is disgraceful,” Lovell said of the former home of the sport which has gone into disrepair over the past decades.

Lovell lamented that the sport of basketball was being ignored and had been left behind when compared to other sports. The former outstanding national player said it saddened him to see the state of the sport.

“It pains me to see how spectators’ interest in this sport has declined. Over the years many persons would go to the YMCA very early in order to get a seat just to watch the game,” he recalled.

Lovell added that the YMCA and basketball had a rich history and it was high time for the National Sports Council and the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association to come together in the interest of the sport and formulate a plan to ensure basketball found a home. He added that such a facility did not have to be anything overly fancy.

The insurance executive said he wanted to see the National Sports Council, the Ministry of Sports and the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association enter into discussion with whoever was responsible for the YMCA and resurrect the facility.

“Every time I am in Pinfold Street I have to shake my head it is really unbelievable. But to you guys here present, do not despair. It is wonderful to represent your school, it is wonderful to take part in sports and if taken seriously, sports, in particular basketball, could teach you so much.

“I continue to take my hat off to the National Sports Council and other organizations which continue to organize camps and sporting tournaments all across Barbados in a very challenging environment particularly in the sport of basketball,”
Lovell said.

He gave the assurance that Co-operators General Insurance would continue to support the youth and sports in Barbados.

First vice-president of the BABA, Charles Griffith, in his brief remarks told the young basketballers that the concept of team meant that together everyone achieved more and therefore they could not achieve individually. He urged them that the concept of team had to be embraced as far as the competition was concerned.

“When you play the game, play it with all fairness, do what you have to do to win. But understand that the benefits which will come to you have more to do than winning a trophy or saying ‘my school is the champion’,” Griffith noted.

During today’s opening ceremony the schools engaged in a team dribbling competition which also involved passing the ball among members. The competition was won by Queen’s College with Alexandra placing second.

Team Queen's College won the dribbling competition in a time of one minute, 16 seconds.
Team Queen’s College won the dribbling competition in a time of one minute, 16 seconds.

Thirteen teams are participating in this year’s competition and are divided into two zones: Alexandra, Ellerslie, Frederick Smith, Grantley Adams, Lester Vaughan, Queen’s College and St. Leonard’s in North Zone; and Harrison College, Graydon Sealy, Foundation, Deighton Griffith, The Lodge School and The St Michael School in South Zone. The competition gets started on May 18 with three games.

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