Ramson Jr. charges Basketball team to win and inspire a generation

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By Akeem Greene

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., in delivering remarks to the National Men’s Basketball team ahead of their campaign in the FIBA 2023 World Cup Americas Pre-qualifiers, charged them to find the right chemistry to be successful in order to inspire others.

“You have a heavy burden to carry because you are inspiring an entire generation of Guyanese people, so while you are playing and you want successful individual performances and while this is an opportunity for you, I want you to be mindful that your actions, your commitment, your dedication, has a very reverberating effect all across this country,” the Sport Minister stated on Saturday when the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) held a media briefing with the team at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 – Americas Pre-Qualifiers will get underway on April 15 in the city of San Salvador and the top three teams will advance to the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 – Americas Pre-Qualifiers in July 2021.

The participating national teams include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guyana, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., addressing the players

The Minister added, “The Government of Guyana is happy to support your effort, but one of the ways you can inspire people is by being successful. We want you to understand that you are here to win…teams that have strong chemistry, good movement, good information flow, egos aside are very powerful units.”

Ramson Jr., who is also an avid basketball fan, advised the players that they should communicate with each other to resolve any issues that may arise.

The Minister further re-emphasised the need for corporate Guyana to be on board the development of sport.

“The development of a country is a team sport and development is not only building your company or a building, but it is building people and building the talent coming from sport, is an important way we develop our human capita…on behalf of the Government of Guyana, it is our expectation that the Private Sector will join in sponsoring team sports.”

The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) President, K.A. Juman-Yassin, said the Association was happy to assist and also called on the private sector to follow suit.

Juman-Yassin too told the players the need for them to understand the magnitude of their undertaking.

“There is a heavy responsibility on you because you are playing for the country and at the end of the day, once you do well and you are successful, each and every one who is here will share in that happiness.”

GABF President, Michael Singh, explained that this is a major moment for Guyana’s basketball since they are on the path to possibly qualify for the 2023 Basketball World Cup in Japan.

“The aim with this process was to give the members of the victorious 2018 Caribbean Basketball Championship team an opportunity to represent their country at a higher level and in my opinion we have a fantastic basketball team.”

Head Coach, Junior Hercules

Progression to next round

GABF Technical Director and Head Coach, Junior Andrew Hercules, had told News Room Sport at a training session that he is confident Guyana has what it takes to progress to the second round.

“Realistically, I expect nothing short of us qualifying for the next round based on the resource, in terms of the skill sets that we have.”

Despite having to face some formidable opponents, the Coach indicated, “I don’t have any concerns specifically on our level to score, just purely on the assessment at the level at practice. In terms of chemistry, equally with our conditioning, I am hoping we can connect at that opportune time so that as a team we can trust each other.”

Hercules further contented, “I think our biggest challenge at this level is our ability to trust each other and once we are able to achieve that hurdle, I have no doubt that Guyana is going to compete and be able to afford us that second round in the qualifiers.

GABF Vice-President and Head of Delegation, Alex Graham, indicated they are working with a budget of G$15 Million and it was a challenge given the current economic situation.

According to Graham, they requested various levels of sponsorship: Platinum ($3 Million), Gold ($2 Million), Silver ($1 Million) and Bronze ($500,000).

Some of the sponsors include: W. Rambarran Services, Biddle Inc. S.A.C, Atlantic Marine Services under its Parker Brand, Fit It Electrical and Rambarran Contracting, E-Networks, JHI Associates and Western Union.

The team and officials are expected to undergo a second round of PCR Tests for COVID-19 on Sunday before departing on Monday.

Part of Guyana’s contingent to El Salvador

Squad: Stanton Rose (Captain), Delroy James (Co-Captain), Harold Adams, Travis Belgrave, Deylon Bovell, Gordon James, Anthony Moe, Nikkoloi Smith, Akeem Crandon, Timothy Thompson, Terron Welch and Israel Yaw.

Management: Junior Andrew Hercules – Head Coach, Dennis Clarke – Assistant Coach, Alex Graham – Head of Delegation, Dr. Dennis Bassier – Team Doctor, Akeem Fraser – Physiotherapist and Warren Wilson – COVID-19 Compliance Officer.

Guyana Games Schedule:

Game 1: Thursday, April 15 – 21:00h GYT – Guyana vs Nicaragua

Game 2: Friday, April 16 – 18:00h GYT – Guyana vs Jamaica

Game 3: Saturday, April 17 – 21:00h GYT – Guyana vs El Salvador

Game 4: Sunday, April 18 – 18:00h GYT – Guyana vs Costa Rica

All matches will be broadcast on E-Networks.

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