– Hinds says there are battles to be won
By Edison Jefford
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds told
the media at a press conference yesterday at Windjammer International Hotel that Guyana still has major battles to win to get them to the Caribbean Basketball Championships.
Hinds said that the federation is doing its best to keep the local and overseas-based players’ minds focused on playing basketball in the midst of some financial challenges. He disclosed that GABF is still in need of US$35,000 to send both teams to the competition.
Guyana is expected to send male and female teams to the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, July 1-12, British Virgin Islands. Hinds was aware of the magnitude of the undertaking but believes with corporate support it is possible.
“There are battles to be won. We have funding issues and while we are better off now than we were before, there has been sort of an ebb and flow. We have spoken to corporate Guyana, and we are awaiting a response,” Hinds told the media.
He said that the male team is expected to leave on June 29 while the female team leaves on July 6. According to Hinds, Guyana’s participation in CBC Championships goes beyond winning the title. It is a first step toward holistic basketball development.
“I can say that we are in the BVI but we still have some outstanding expenses and we hope some sponsors will come up,” Hinds related, adding that Office of the President has shown the biggest support thus far. He still believes Government can do more for the team.
In addition, he said that the Guyana Olympic Association, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Co., John Fernandes, Ansa Mcal and Windjammer International Hotel has also show great support for the team., which Hinds believes, will make Guyana proud.
According to the GABF President, the skill set of the international players, which former NBA player Rawle Marshall leads, has had a direct impact on the improvement of the local players. He is of the view that the current positive spinoffs are immeasurable.
He urged all stakeholders to get behind the team, adding that schools and clubs should visit the practice sessions in the afternoons to see the high level of basketball on display. He said it is one of the biggest learning experiences the sport has had in recent times.
Hinds told Kaieteur Sport that Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and the Director of Sport, Neil Kumar, were invited to yesterday’s press update on the status of the team, but did not show up. The final team will be named shortly.
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