By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITHOUT any opposition, Eugene Horton and his entire slate of officers were elected to serve as the new administration of the New Providence Basketball Association.
Horton, the outgoing fourth vice president under the presidency of Keith ‘Belzee’ Smith, will serve with the following officers:
James Price - 1st Vice President, Randy Cunningham- 2nd Vice President, Bob Hudson- 3rd Vice President, Kevin McPhee- 4th Vice President, Sophia Hunter- Treasurer, Kevin Hudson- Assistant Treasurer, Katrina Marshall- Secretary, Enrica McIntosh- Assistant Treasurer, Darrel Ranger- Commissioner, Oscar Dorsett - Assistant Commissioner and Jeff Rodgers Jr, Public Relations Officer.
Also at the end of the elections, the executives voted in Moses Johnson of the PJ’s Stingers as the head of the Coaches Association. He will get a chance to work directly with the administration. In short order, Horton said they intend to complete the board by selecting the Players Association.
Horton said he was not surprised at the outcome.
“One of the things that I realised with Bahamians is that we do a lot of talking, but when it comes down to action, we don’t do anything,” Horton said. “I guess once the season starts, we will probably hear from those persons who have a problem. But they had an opportunity to voice their opinions before the election and they didn’t. So hopefully they will allow us to administrate.”
On Tuesday night, the newly elected board will meet to deal with the constitution of the NPBA.
“Hopefully by the end of the week, we will have that completed and be able to present that and a tentative schedule for the opening of the season to the clubs,” said Horton of the association, which has about 12 members. “That’s the short term goals for us right now.”
Horton said he and his administration also plan to meet with the principal and staff of AF Adderley Secondary School so as to ascertain whatever improvements can be made to the gymnasium before the start of the season, tentatively set for Saturday, November 7.
“We know that the gym needs some work, so we want to see what we can do to help improve the environment because we intend to play the majority of our games there,” Horton said. “We also intend the use the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium for our special nights like the opening, the All-Star Classic and possibly the playoffs and or the championship series.”
While the season will be during the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association’s basketball season, Horton said they also intend to meet with that organisation so as to put a plan in place to avoid the long wait that they have encountered in the past where they will probably only play one game per night during their season.
“We know we have to have our season completed before the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Round Robin Tournament, which is normally held in April,” Horton said. “So if we are going to reduce the games we play on the nights when the school league is playing, then we will have to make sure that we can make up those games on the other nights.”
At present, Horton said they are looking at about 12 teams participating in the league, but over the weekend, he was approached by another four teams, who are interested in playing. He said the executives will have to scrutinise those teams to make sure that they can meet requirements and will not be taking any players away from the current teams.
“The league is very competitive now and so we don’t want to water it down by players switching from one team to the next,” Horton said. “But so far, we have 11 teams, who are already confirmed and ready to play. We have one other team that is in the process of finalising everything to join them.”
Horton, who has been instrumental in bringing more awareness to the league through the formation of the online statistics, said they intend to provide live streaming of the games once they can implement an internet service in both the Kendal Isaacs and AF Adderley Gyms to keep the media and the fans more abreast of what is taking place on a nightly basis.
“We are looking at revamping the current website and producing a new one, which will increase our service that we provide,” Horton said. “We also want to look at the possibility of having all of the basketball leagues, including the Women’s Basketball League and the Bahamas Government League and the high schools included in the new website where you can click and find information on all of the leagues under one site.”