By Zaheer Mohamed
The recently concluded National Schools’ basketball championship which was organised by Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) was deemed a success.
President’s College won the male U18 final 89-79 against Kwakwani Secondary; a game which had all the ingredients of a final for it was keenly contested. Despite President’s College ascendency to the title in the latter stages of the game that caused them to win by some margin, did not necessarily reflected the competitiveness of the duel. Such was the standard of the game that it provided much excitement for the fans who were cheering on throughout and Director of Sport Christopher Jones was so impressed that he lauded the youths for such a display.
Jones said at the presentation ceremony, “What we saw was not just some students playing basketball, we saw some professional athletes at their best.”
Following the presentation ceremony, Jones told Kaieteur Sport that he enjoyed every moment of the game. “Professional, high quality of play, both teams has to be commended and particularly their coaches, what we saw tonight wasn’t just a regular youth game, this was high professional standard. In
fact we were there looking at the clock, when you see 77 on the scorecard, you know for that for sure and I want to commend the players, YBG and Chris Bowman for such a tournament, and if it weren’t for this tournament we would not have been able to scout the talent in the Regions.”
Jones was pleased with the talent available at this level. “We know for sure from what I saw tonight that there is a lot of talent available. The executive of the basketball federation were here and were taking notes of the youths and their performances. That’s why we lend support to this activity and I would even want to go further to essentially incorporate this in the school district system so we can have all 15 districts involved.”
“YBG have been able to have eight school districts participating and this is where the talent is and we want to create more opportunities for them so they can grow. This is the grassroots level which is important and I am satisfied with what I saw,” he stated.
Coach of President’s College Willon Cameron said hard work with support from the school was mainly responsible for their win. “The players, realising that the entire school was rallying behind them, came out and give it their best shot. I can’t asked for nothing more, they saved their best for last.”
“The players carried out the instructions, however the opposition played well, credit must go to them, we knew they were never going to give up so we had to stay focus and make use of the opportunities.”
“We work really hard and as a coach I really pushed my players and I urged them to make the endurance count. We just had to remember what we practiced and stay calm, so it was just about putting what we practiced into to work. It was a well contested game, the better team won and hopefully we can come back with the same energy next year.”
Marian Academy beat Kwakwani 27-24 to win the girls’ final, while Kwakwani won the boys U14 title with a 77-25 victory over St. Stanislaus College. Credit must be given to Kwakwani who reached all three finals.
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