Managing Director Errol Lynch of E-Z Pave (in white shirt), one of the sponsors, hands over the sponsorship cheque at the start of the E-Z Pave, KFC U23 3x3 Tournament last weekend at Clapham.

Great summer for youth basketball

With the conclusion of the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) U-23 Summer Jam 3x3 competition slated for this Saturday, it must be said that it has been an exciting Summer Jam for local youth basketball.

The E-Z Pave and KFC sponsored 3x3 competition is the third youth competition which the BABA has produced in an action packed summer of basketball. The competition consisted of eight teams battling in a two day format. The first day saw More Life, Rising Stars, DCFM and Dream Chasers qualify for the semi-finals for a chance to make their mark on the court and move on the last round.

There will also be a skills competition as well as a free-throw competition.

The U-19 Summer Jam competition was highly competitive with once again eight teams playing for the crown. Four teams stood out and those were Pinelands, YMCA Wildcats, Clapham A and the Lakers. It came down to those four teams in the semi-finals and Pinelands and Clapham emerged from the rubble to fight for the top spot. Pinelands, who were unable to reach the finals in the U-16 segment, made sure that they brought the best they had to the court. It was a beating which made the Pinelands supporters proud as the team won the title 98-84, in a points fest of a game.

A somewhat surprising result in the U-16 Summer Jam tournament was a highlight of the summer games as Kolij Lions A earned their way to the mountain top. After a tight semi-final against Pinelands, where they had to come from behind to take the match by one basket, Kolij still had one more rung on the ladder to climb. They faced the Next Generation Athletics and Basketball Academy Green Monkeys in the finals. It was the first competition for NexGen and reaching the finals spoke volumes for the quality of players being produced by the academy. Coach Dario McCollin had different plans for who would carry home the trophy, however, and the Lions roamed the court in a dominant performance winning the first title of the youth summer 74-57.

With such well competed tournaments during the summer in which the many youth programmes of local basketball can take part, the production of good players can once again be on the cards for Barbados. Though players like Kregg Jones, Andre Lockhart and Andrew Ifill can be used as an argument that we still produce good players, it is about time that great players who can excel on the regional and international stage are seen again.

Barbados Advocate

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