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OPINION: Vincente’s 54 points; a microcosm of what’s wrong with sports in Guyana

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Says Treiston Joseph

Vincente rises; he shoots; another three! 14 for the night- what a performance. 54 points in a single game. History has been made tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Treiston Joseph

If the opening anecdote sounded like NBA commentary, the start of a basketball documentary or movie that could probably be true, but the truth is Dominic Vincente last Wednesday dropped 54 points against the Eagles at the premier indoor facility in the country.

Besides a 76-point performance from Chris Williams in an Under-23 Linden Amateur Basketball Tournament, there is really no record of what the highest score at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall is in senior competition. In addition, the performance was witnessed by a near empty Sports Hall and the biggest question for Vincente after such a performance is what more?

Simply put, the circumstance around Vincente’s 54-point outburst is basically a microcosm of the atrocities that continue to plague local sports.

Why do I say this? Well, let’s put Vincente’s performance into perspective. The NBA record for most three’s in a game in 13 by Steph Curry; Vincente dropped 14 in front of basically nobody, and this speaks of the poor organisation of the tournament lacking tremendous public and national attention.

To date, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) cannot verify whether the performance was the highest in senior basketball or more simply the highest performance at the Sports Hall.

This type of record keeping is a problem throughout most sports in Guyana, probably with the exception of cricket that has the benefit of ESPNCricinfo and boxing that has the luxury of BOXREC. Every other sport basically relies on memory, a sad state indeed. For instance, the Athletics Association of Guyana is unsure of the junior records of this nation and they are probably lucky that Wikipedia has compiled a list of all national senior records.

In addition, a performance of such nature deserves much more national attention. There have not been more than five 50-point games in the NBA for this season yet Guyana has one of their own and will unlikely have another for years to come, but yet the GABF has yet to publically congratulate Vincente on the performance.

Local sports are already plagued with enough problems such as the Guyana Cricket Board’s elections that probably will never be held, according to their own constitution, the continuous troubles of football, the lack of imitative by the Guyana Olympic Association to produce Olympians for us the media to not notice flashes of brilliance such as these.

In essence, the brilliance of Vincente’s performance will more than likely go down as a footnote in Guyana’s basketball history probably because the interest to grow the sport to new levels is either lacking or simply non-existent. Sponsors will hear of this and still hesitate to sponsor basketball because of the lack of public support the sport commands, an indictment not just on the organisers but the fans themselves.

In my belief, there has to be more emphasis placed on sport, we obviously have the talent and the players, athletes can’t do it on their own. It is my belief that if all stakeholders, be it the media, sponsors, the government, organizers, associations and federation dedicate two years of hard effort to sport, this country would reap greater benefits than tourism will ever do for this nation.

My personal plea is for all stakeholders to really do some introspection to see what more you can do for sport because like Vincente, by his performance what more can he do to show there is potential and talent? Don’t let the athletes and players go to waste. We have allowed this to happen too often because of the non-existent system of development and advancement for sport.

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