Junior basketballers to face Caribbean championships


Tribune Sports Reporter


A BUSY summer for the Bahamas Basketball Federation will include not only senior teams, but junior teams will also compete against the best in the region.

The Bahamas will be one of several countries slated to participate in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Under-16 Championships in July.

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) won the bid to host the tournament for both boys and girls as the CBC returns to the region for the first time since 2008.

According to the CBC, “the bid by the GABF was seen as the Federation’s desire to focus on the development of youths while the nation celebrates its 50th Independence Anniversary on May 26 this year,” the organisation said in a press release.

“This will be the first occasion where Guyana will be hosting the CBC’s Youth Championships which was initiated in 1982. The inaugural Caribbean Seniors Championships was hosted by Guyana in 1981 and was again hosted in 1988 and 1994 under the Caricom brand.”

The Bahamas is among a group of ten teams for the boys’ championship and seven teams for the girls’ event so far. The boys tournament will also include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and the hosts, Guyana.

The girls tournament will also include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

The Bahamas has a rich history in the CBC Championship, particularly in the youth division. At the last CBC under-18 championships in 2008, hosted in Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas won both boys and girls titles.

The team was led by Donnathan Moss, Leon Cooper, Shavaro Bowleg and Jermaine Storr. They ultimately reached the FIBA Tournament of Americas before they were eliminated.

The Bahamas’ last junior national team was the 2015 squad which finished fifth at the FIBA Centrobasket under-17 Championship in Puerto Rico.

The Bahamas finished with a 3-2 win-loss record overall, but won only one game in group play before they were relegated to the lower bracket. Despite the end result, D’Andre Vilmar emerged as a rising star in the region.

The 6ft 4in guard, from Abaco and Roman Catholic High School in Pennsylvania, led the tournament in scoring at 19.6 points per game and rebounding at 12.4 boards per game. He was also second in assists as he dished out 4.6 per game.

It marked the second consecutive time a Bahamian under-17 team had finished fifth at Centrobasket, after the 2013 tournament in El Salvador.

The Bahamas last qualified for the Tournament of the Americas at the junior level in 2013.

At the Centrobasket under-15 Championships in El Salvador, the Bahamas finished third with a bronze medal win over Puerto Rico.


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