By Edison Jefford
In an effort to create more awareness and regenerate interest in local basketball, the minds that are responsible for the super-successful Inter-Ward Basketball Championships, will be launching the National Community Basketball League (NCBL).
Speaking to Kaieteur Sport yesterday, the Coordinators, Kwame Mentore and Robert “Bobby” Cadogan, indicated that the League will be launched soon with the aim of concluding around June month end with a mega superstar basketball event featuring NBA players.
“We have teamed up with GuyEnterprise to embrace what Bobby has been doing with basketball. We are taking it to a next level because we have an objective and a passion for basketball. We want to give back to the communities,” Mentore said.
“The whole objective is to develop the sport at a community level and the infrastructure of basketball in Guyana. We are looking to start working on a court in Albouystown. All that we are doing is in an effort to raise the revenue to start working on that court,” he added.
Mentore said that each community will benefit from the League with the goal of resuscitating basketball at that level while unearthing new talent. He believes that going back to communities is the right way to have a fixed development programme for the sport.
He noted that upon the completion of the NCBL, there will be a gala event with NBA players coming to conduct clinics and camps within the communities. According to Mentore, who has LinkUp Media, the aim is to re-energise local basketball in a major way.
“NBA players coming to Guyana for the first time will inspire some of the youngsters.It’s to revive the sport where the talent really is. LinkUp Media and GuyEnterprise is adding their stamp on it in such a way that it will be of a high standard,” Mentore continued.
He said that there will be All-Star Dancers, TV programmes, live games and other facets to add an international image to the event. He committed to hosting an impressive event and is optimistic that the inaugural NCBL will create history in Guyana.
Cadogan, who is responsible for hosting the Inter-Ward tournament, indicated that the first NCBL will feature teams from the East Bank, East Coast, Georgetown, Linden and Berbice with the top two teams from each community advancing to the quarter-finals.
According to Cadogan, the knockout round begins at the quarterfinal stage. “With this being the first season of this League, we went for the more established basketball-playing areas to create the awareness. We will expand our reach in the future,” he said.
Cadogan indicated that the NCBL will be a breath of fresh air for basketball in Guyana and will create the right impetus for players to become more active in the sport. He is of the view that the NCBL is what basketball really needs to aid its development.
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