– Resurfaced Burnham hard court commissioned
By Calvin Chapman
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) held their awards ceremony for the historic senior men’s team that won Guyana’s first Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship gold medal, last month in Suriname.
The team was led on all fronts by 18-year-old Stanton Rose who was the youngest captain in Guyana’s basketball history and the Kwakwani lad was so outstanding that he was awarded MVP in the competition which was competed at the Anthony Nesty Sporthal in Paramaribo.
During his address at the simple but significant ceremony at the newly commissioned, resurfaced Burnham hard court on Saturday night, Rose posited that, “It was a pleasure leading you guys and my country to the Caribbean Championship and I will keep working so I can do it again in the future.”
Guyana are now ranked 95th in the world after winning the tournament. Heading into the tournament which was hosted hiccup free by neighbouring Suriname, the Guyanese were ranked 117, the second highest just above the host nation Suriname on 118.
Overseas based Kevon Wiggins was the youngest player on the team, aged 17 years, and he was the top scorer in Guyana’s first group game. During his brief address he noted that he was proud to be part of a championship winning team at such a young age and noted that he will always represent Guyana because here is where he belongs.
Young Center Timothy Thompson noted that, “Coming out with the win was a big achievement for me after coming up one less short in the FIBA Lesser Antilles under 18 3×3 competition last year,” a team that also included Skipper Stanton Rose.
Travis Burnett who had a major defensive role in the team spoke about how the manager of the team, Nigel Hinds, motivated him to do better after he was beginning to lose confidence: “He said to me, what do you have to lose Travis? And I replied nothing. So he said, well just go out and play. And that is what I did and eventually everything just started to click.”
“It’s an honour to represent Guyana, and my community Linden, Victory Valley especially. I love you guys. We couldn’t have done it without each other”, expressed an emotional Orlon Glasgow.
Coach of the team Junior Hercules explained that the key ingredient that was missing in the past that this 2018 team had was that the players believed that they could’ve won the tournament. “I hope that this victory will inspire the future generation of ballers in Guyana.”
“To be successful at basketball you need three D’s; determination, dedication and defence. And, defence is what took us to the title,” Dennis Clarke, assistant coach.
Vice-President of the GABF, Kenrick Thomas, who played a major role in the resurfacing of Burnham Hard Court, expressed honour for the players’ desire to want to win every game. “We had an opportunity and we took it,” he proudly spoke of the lads who were unbeaten in the tournament.
Meanwhile, President of the GABF, Hinds, thanked the players for their dedication and hard work while acknowledging the coach: “Theoretically you’re a student of the game and you practically brought it (the CBC championship) home.”
Hinds mentioned the significance of the Road to Mecca championship and the warm up series in Barbados which were pivotal during Guyana’s preparation. He thanked all the sponsors including Ministers Joseph Harmon and David Patterson who contributed $1million each out of pocket, towards the team’s costly funding for participation in the event.
At the end of the ceremony, each player along with the coaches were awarded $100,000.
The commissioning of the M&CC owned but GABF maintained Burnham hard court capped off the evening. The court recently underwent an $11million resurfacing project which was funded by the GABF.
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