Bright sparks for game’s fu­ture

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 7 -

Bas­ket­ball’s fu­ture ap­pears to be a bright one.

So says Nex­gen ABA founder and direc­tor Zahir Mo­tara after suc­cess­fully stag­ing the camp’s first ever Pri­mary Schools’ Open Court Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment last week­end at the Wildey Gym­na­sium.

“I think bas­ket­ball is in good hands, but you won’t see the re­sults of this un­til say about five years down the road, or ten years down the road; and that’s some­thing we have to look at in terms of the long-term goals with our next gen­er­a­tion,” ex­plained Mo­tara, who is pro­fes­sional coach and cur­rent na­tional player.

Skill lev­els

“Over the last year or two, I think the in­ter­est has been grow­ing. We the coaches are on the ground ev­ery day, so we kind of don’t re­alise it; but look­ing at the dif­fer­ent lev­els that are be­ing played in terms of the Sum­mer Jam and other com­pe­ti­tions, then the skill lev­els are def­i­nitely grow­ing.

“The fu­ture re­ally does look bright, so we’re go­ing to meet with the BABA and try to or­gan­ise with The Gym­na­sium so we can do it once a month; but if not, then once ev­ery six weeks. We ac­tu­ally had three or four kids here who have never played bas­ket­ball and that augers well for our sport,” he added.

Geared to­wards kids un­der the age of 11, the tour­na­ment at­tracted 22 kids who were split into two age groups and six teams over­all.

It was con­tested in a 3x3 format with smaller hoops for the younger un­der-8 age group, while the un­der-11 kids played on the cus­tom­ary rims in­side the Wildey Gym­na­sium.

Pos­i­tive start

“It was pretty de­cent in terms of turnout and, as I said from the be­gin­ning, once we got ten chil­dren we’re go­ing to do some­thing be­cause we just need to start. We got 22 kids with three teams in each age group; so that was a pos­i­tive start,” said Mo­tara.

“And I’m re­ally happy with the vol­un­teers and the as­sis­tance we re­ceived be­cause we got a lot of young bas­ket­ball play­ers who play for dif­fer­ent clubs and schools and we have some na­tional play­ers who came back to help.

“The of­fi­cials who work with the as­so­ci­a­tion also came out to help which is re­ally great for the fu­ture of our sport be­cause we have young peo­ple who want to be trained as coaches, ref­er­ees and of­fi­cials and who don’t just want to con­cen­trate on play­ing,” he added.

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