WHILE no definitive date has been set yet for the resumption of sporting activities in the country, the Bahamas Basketball Federation is looking forward to hosting a pilot 3-on-3 basketball tournament in August that is mandated by FIBA - the governing body for basketball worldwide - with the view of returning to the regular 5-on-5 basketball tournaments.
Eugene Horton, the first vice president of the federation, said their committee, comprising of persons from throughout the Bahamas, are targeting the weekend of August 1-3 for the tournament, geared for players in three different categories inclusive of 18-35, 36-45 and 46-and-over for male and female players.
“We’re not sure when everything will be opened, but during the month of August, we will try to play the 3-on-3 basketball tournament throughout the Bahamas,” Horton said. “We have committee members assigned to each island, so we want to ensure that everybody is aware of the rules and regulations.”
Committee members, according to Horton, will be assigned to the different islands and will work closely with players, coaches and those interested in participating in 3-on-3 basketball and to get them registered in a database for FIBA through https://playfiba3x3.com.
Eventually, Horton said the federation intends to host a national tournament where the federation will be able to select a national team to represent the Bahamas in upcoming international events.
As for the pilot tournament in August, Horton said they are looking at hosting the first 20 teams with registration closed about two days before they start. They are looking at the possibility of playing in the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium where they can play up to four games at a time and, if necessary, utilise the courts on the outside.
The tournament is expected to use a double elimination format with about 39 games played in each category based on the first come, first serve of 20 teams signed up. All players, however, must be registered in the FIBA database.
“We just want to let people know 3-on-3 basketball is coming,” Horton said. “It’s important for players, coaches and teams to sign up and get registered with FIBA. When we had the workshop with FIBA last year, they had mandated that we start playing 3-on-3. We now have a committee to implement it.”
Although the landscape of sports will take on a different look due to social distancing as a result of the coronavirus, Horton said they are just in the planning stages of putting on the pilot tournament. He said if they have to critique their plans a little more as it pertains to how they will abide by the recommendations by the health officials, then they will do that.
“Right now, we just want to have something in place once we get the okay to go ahead with sporting activities again,” Horton said. “Our committee is working and once we would have finalised all of the details and have the date set, based on when the economy opens up, we will provide more details to the public.”
Like it was done worldwide, sports was closed down in March due to the coronavirus after the National Basketball Association (NBA) was forced to halt their regular season after centre Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was the first international athlete to publicly test positive for the virus.
The BBF at the time was preparing to host their national basketball championships in April between its member island associations. However, they were forced to cancel the tournament. The New Providence Basketball Association, at the time, was into its playoffs, while the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association was preparing for the start of its championship series.