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Basketball war brewing

Basketball war brewing


Conflict is brewing between some basketball players and the National Basketball Federation over the use of the national basketball centre at Montrose.

Recently, a group of basketball players expressed their anger to SEARCHLIGHT after they turned up at the Montrose facility for their regular Sunday afternoon “sweat” only to find the main gate locked.{{more}}

Even though the facility isn’t properly secured and some players were able to walk through a part of the fencing, and others climbed over a nearby wall and jumped over the gate, much “cussing” permeated the air.

“What is the Federation doing? Why they locking the gate? This is real nonsense,” said national player Orlando Ferguson, who spoke on behalf of the upset players.

Ferguson, and others there told SEARCHLIGHT that they believe that the action taken by the Federation was in direct retaliation to the fact that players did not respond to invitations to attend a coaching skills training programme which is being facilitated by an overseas based coach.

“You can’t force somebody to come to a coaching clinic. It is a man’s choice if he wants to go,” said one player.

However, president of the basketball federation Wayne Williams is unapologetic about the decision to lock the facility.

Williams said that the Federation is putting measures in place to ensure the proper utilization of the national centre. According to Williams, there is an urgent need for more structured programmes to ensure the future of the game.

Williams said that players have been told that if they want to use the facility as a club, to host any “progressive programme”, they should call any member of the association and be given a time slot to use the court.

Williams expressed concern for the future of the game, saying that it is crucial that veteran clubs and players become proper students of the game, ensuring that the love and fundamentals are passed on to the future basketball players.

“One of the major problem(s) is that everybody just want(s) to sweat. that isn’t good for the game,” Williams told SEARCHLIGHT.

Williams also noted that in addition to encouraging more structured basketball, the new policy will also enable the federation to keep proper records of who is using the facility at various times.

“What has been happening is that pipes are broken, the place is being abused, people are parking their cars on the court…breaking into the box for the lights, a lot of abuse,” Williams said.

Williams said that people may resist it, but he is determined to ensure that the facility is properly managed.

So while there are gaps in the fences which make access easy, despite the locks on the gate, Williams warned that the policy must be followed, and persons should seek permission to use the court.

He also hinted that more structured programmes will be introduced on afternoons, with the view of passing on the game to young children, which will take precedence over the afternoon ‘sweats’.(KJ)