THE Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) continues its mandate of developing the sport and was recognised by the international governing body as one of its fastest growing member federations in the region.
BBF executives attended the FIBA National Federation Development workshop in Miami, Florida, where selected federations discussed approaches to technical direction, grassroots basketball and regional play.
Florian Pasquet, FIBA Americas executive director/FIBA sports and national federations manager, said the Bahamas has been highlighted as one of the rising stars in the region.
“The Bahamas is well known as a country with huge potential and that’s why we have selected them as part of this programme.
“One of the key reasons to select the federations that have attended this workshop is based on potential and everyone knows that Bahamas basketball has one of the biggest potentials in the region,” Pasquet said.
“The proximity to the United States is an advantage and the skills that the players in the Bahamas have is tremendous. We just feel they need a little push to take off and I was delighted to interact with their representatives about the different technical elements that are so important for development.”
The Bahamas has been one of the leaders in the region, producing a number of NCAA Division I players, a head coach in Yolett McPhee-McCuin and highlighted by NBA stars Buddy Hield and Deandre Ayton.
The Bahamas also had impressive performances at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships, Centrobasket and other regional events.
“We have many established federations in our region but also many others knocking at the door ready to take that next step and be potential powerhouses. I believe the Bahamas has a great chance to exist above those big monster programmes,” Pasquet said.
“Everybody believes in the Bahamas federation to bring the game to a different level. We just need to push the issue, to help the federation get some structure in place so we can develop basketball to a sustainable and well-organised manner.”
Recently elected BBF president Mario Bowleg said the platform for his administration pledges to guide basketball in the country to unprecedented heights both at the local and international levels.
“This has been a very interesting, informative workshop. It allows us to improve our programmes in the Bahamas. It’s been so powerful, I’m certain it will impact the administration and help us to move basketball to a more professional level,” Bowleg said.
“The relationship with FIBA has grown, they have moved closer to us and they see the potential of what we can do. One thing that they have said is that we have a passion for the game, a love for the game and they can see where we want to do some things to move basketball to the next level. What they want to do is to help us get there.”
A major segment of the workshop focused on the role of technical directors. Steve Barnes currently serves in that role for the BBF.
“My role as technical director is a lot larger than I realised. It’s a position of leadership that’s not about telling people what to do but to teach and get a better understanding of what needs to be done. It’s about learning from everyone in the federation on what we can do better to improve Bahamas basketball,” Barnes said.
“It really defines roles so now it’s a lot of implementation and continuing to get better. You can really see a lot of growth in Bahamas basketball in the last few years and we see that trend continuing,” he added.