Sep 04, 2008 Sports Comments Off on GABA Elections in perspective…Presidential candidates absorb initial debate
By Edison Jefford
The basketball community in Georgetown is a relatively small conclave of clubs with the archaic grapevine means of communication taking precedence over technology in a country that extols mobile phones for instance.
The primary discussion that is currently growing at the grassroots level of clubs is the replacement of Chris Bowman on Sunday when the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) holds its Elections.
Bowman is the current President of the GABA; he had told Kaieteur Sport in a previous interview that he will not seek re–election but will table a set of new administrative rules in the form of a handbook at the meeting.
While there is no official word on Bowman’s successor, what is certain is that influential clubs in the ‘Garden City’ are manoeuvring their candidates of choice for the top position on what is to become a new GABA Executive.
“I don’t know about the other clubs but I have two young people that I think will advance basketball in Georgetown,” the head of one of those clubs said yesterday, adding that the two individuals come from strong legal backgrounds.
The names of those two persons were released to this newspaper but the source requested that the information remain confidential. Another club representative also spoke on the condition of anonymity at our meeting.
“Linden is playing all the basketball and we are not playing any in Georgetown. Our club structure keeps us active–we train three times per week,” the other informant said, while observing that the City is starved for competition.
Several clubs had, at some stage, disapproved of the Bowman administration and many of the problems related to basketball in Georgetown were squarely laid at his feet. Yet he managed to last two terms in office.
In 2006 when Next Level Entertainment first came unto the scene as a major basketball promotion group with a proposal for a nation–wide super–eight competition, Bowman refused to release the Georgetown clubs.
His contention was that the proposed deal did not include enough financial substance for the association. After much furore, he finally agreed to let the clubs play for the lucrative quarter million dollar first place award.
Later that year, Bowman was again at the centre of controversy when the National Sports Commission (NSC) allowed him to select the national junior team for the Inter–Guiana Games ahead of Guyana’s basketball federation.
He subsequently met with the President of the national federation, Godwin McPherson and the two sapped each other’s wound. McPherson and Director of Sport, Neil Kumar also met to resolve their issues on the matter.
Bowman survived 2006 and the NLE along with the D.C Jammers tour came off without any public administrative concern early in 2007. However, later that year, Georgetown clubs questioned the GABA’s independent calendar.
The GABA had a crucial role in the NLE tournament since it presides over Georgetown–based clubs, but because its role in the D.C Jammers’ tour is minimal, Georgetown clubs took the body to task on its own projects.
One club went as far as to generate a memorandum seeking support for a no–confidence motion but that course of action fell through because enough clubs did not come forward to back the authors of the document.
The failure of the document energised Bowman, who had threatened to resign to go on a sabbatical to become a Priest. He quickly organised two tournaments at the end of 2007 that basically gave him ‘cog Hodge’ against clubs.
The end of 2008 approaches and there has been no GABA–organised competition apart from Bowman’s annual high school basketball festival, which he holds under the aegis of the provisional association and the NSC.
Clubs are not only lamenting the failure of the current administration to host tournaments but also their management of the financial records of the association. The GABA has allegedly failed to furnish clubs with financial statements.
“I know the presentation of the financial statement will have issues on Sunday [at the meeting]; the last thing he [Bowman] sent us was more like a financial draft without any itemising on how monies were spent,” a source said.
Georgetown clubs are hoping that Sunday’s GABA Annual General Meeting becomes the beginning of a new era in basketball in Georgetown but the corruptible nature of power can transform any decent character.
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