Historic! ‘One Guyana’ Basketball Premier League to start August 12
- Sport Ministry, G-Boats and Basketball Federation join forces
Decades of dreams for a basketball league in Guyana are now reality compliments of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and G-Boats Incorporated, with the formation of the ‘One Guyana’ Basketball Premier League.
The league will be coordinated by the Guyana Basketball Federation (GBF) and is part of the National Sports Academy, focusing on tournaments after the first pillar of nursey commenced in 2022.
The League will have 14 teams, divided into two conferences – Harpy Eagles Conference and Jaguars Conference – and there will be a minimum of 56 games and a maximum of 63 after it starts on August 12 and concludes in March 2024.
Saturdays will be the official match days, and there will be two break periods for an All-Star weekend.
Speaking at the launch on Friday at the National Gymnasium, Minister Charles Ramson Jr. hailed the formation of the league as historic and one to reignite significant interest in the sport.
Noting “basketball culture is dormant in the country,” Ramson Jr. firmly believed there is interest to play, but “you have to develop a culture that focuses on professionalism and the development of the sport.”
To achieve such, he implores clubs to operate more professionally regarding practice as there is more access to improved facilities.
The Minister indicated that they will start the construction of five gymnasiums across the countries this year and noted, “By next year, you should be playing in your air-conditioned facility at the Sports Hall.”
The Cliff Anderson Sports Hall is currently undergoing rehabilitation, and when completed, it will be a modern facility for hosting international events.
Through these efforts of making Guyana more attractive to hosting international events, the Minister firmly believes it will give local athletes exposure at higher quality for players to improve their skills.
All proceeds the league generates will go to the GBF.
More so, Jermaine Slater, President of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association, stated, “The league comes as a response to the growing demand from players and coaches for a platform that fosters the growth, development, and nurturing of basketball talents across Guyana.”
He added, “This league will serve as a stepping stone for young players who dream of reaching the professional stage.”
Additionally, Sherman Gonsalves, a representative from G-Boats, expressed they are happy to support basketball and pledge to be more involved in the sport as it presents a platform for youths.
Matches will be staged at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue and stream live on the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s Facebook page.
The winning team will pocket $1M while the runners-up get $500,000.