YBG offers peek into basketball’s future from March 23
By Avenash Ramzan
To get an idea of the future of any sport discipline, one just has to take a look at the level of talent and competitiveness with the school system. For the sport of basketball, Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) will provide that opportunity shortly, through the 13th staging of its National School Basketball Festival.
Dubbed by many as a nurturing ground for emerging talents within the academic institutions countrywide, the National School Basketball Festival is once again set to bring forth another crop of players, who would be viewed as having the potential to one day represent Guyana.
The action will tip off with the Regional Conference on March 23. That aspect of the championship will run until June 16. Thereafter, the organisers will hold what is dubbed ‘Championship Week’ from June 24 to July 1.
This segment of the event will see all the top teams from the various Regional Conferences battling it out with the ultimate intention being to own the title of national champion.
Co-director of YBG, Chris Bowman, speaking at the official launch on Wednesday morning at the tournament venue, the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, commended sponsors Edward Beharry Group of Companies and Banks DIH Limited for their steadfast support to the initiative.
This year marks a decade the Beharry Group has been onboard, while Banks DIH Limited has notched up nine consecutive years of partnership with the organisers.
“This is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment in this environment where sponsorship and support for healthy, valuable youth alternatives are far and few,” Bowman posited.
Bowman further pointed to one of the specific plans for this year’s competition, which is being held under the tagline ‘dedicated to the supporters of school basketball.’
“We should expect to see the continued acceleration of female basketball. Female basketball has been a very bright spot in school basketball over the last few years,” he highlighted.
Bowman said like previous years, YBG is keen on welcoming new talents to event, pointing specifically to the Chase Academy team bringing its own flavour to the tournament.
Director of Sport Christopher Jones commended the organisers for providing a platform for talents to be spotted and nurtured. He also expressed delight with the progress made by YBG over the years.
“We recognised that when they would have started some years ago they would have only been able to identify or work with a few regions. But over time that has broadened and more regions are now onboard,” Jones reflected.
He added, “The National Sports Commission, as I mentioned before, is excited to partner with YBG because we recognise that if you want to look at the long-term development of this particular discipline you have to start at the grassroot level.”
In a show of support, representatives of all key partners were present at the launch to offer remarks. Nicholas Fraser represented the Ministry of Education’s Unit of Allied Arts, while Communication Manager Troy Peters spoke on behalf of Banks DIH Limited and Chico and Champion Brand Manager Reena Williams addressed the gathering on behalf of the Beharry Group.
The all spoke glowingly of the work of the YBG team and promised their continued alliance for years to come.