The first whistle in the #1 Beauty Supplies and Beauty Exchange 2016 Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Domestic Women’s League will be blown at 2 p.m. Sunday May 22 at the Barbados Community College.
Vice President of the BABA, Charles Griffith spoke to the media at the launch of the women’s season and expressed thanks to Jaouni Mohammed, Managing Director of No.1 Beauty Supplies and Beauty Exchange, for sponsoring the 2016 Women’s League another year and their commitment to the development of local basketball. Mohammed then gave the BABA the reassurance that it was the company’s intention to support women’s basketball for years to come in the effort to see it grow even further than its current form. Griffith stated that he wished to see more of corporate Barbados to come on board with local basketball especially as it relates to getting junior basketball up and running as it has been a yearly problem for the BABA in attracting sponsorship for the lower development level. President of the BABA, Derek Garrett chimed in to express the current need of sponsorship for the two Junior National U16 Male and Female teams scheduled to head to the Caribbean Basketball Confederation U16 Championships in Guyana in July. Without more sponsorship, the teams may be cut from 12 players per team to ten. Garrett said it would be a shame to have to cut the team for financial reasons knowing the impact it could have on the cut junior players at this stage.
The women’s season will be two rounds which will see the six teams play each other in a round robin competition format. Urban Vybz St. John’s Sonics, Combined Schools Hoopsters, Burger King Clapham Bulls, Station Hill Cavaliers, Challengers Sports Club and UWI Blackbirds are the six women’s team which will look to seek glory at the end of the season. With the Bulls rejoining the fray after missing last year’s competition, they along with the other four teams will be looking to dethrone the Station Hill Cavaliers who are the reigning double champions, having won the regular season completion and also the Knock-out competition last year.
After the launch of the 2016 season, Garrett and Griffith along with BABA Honorary Secretary Charlene Leacock presented the awards to the players and teams who had done outstandingly well in the 2015 season. Maria “Flowers” Cumberbatch of Station Hill Cavaliers took the Lion’s share of the awards after giving the performance of her career in 2015. Cumberbatch copped the Best Offensive player title and claimed the Most Valuable Player of the League as well as the Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs last year. Cumberbatch speaking to The Barbados Advocate said that she was looking to repeat her performance of last year and was enrolled in a strength training program, so the girls would have to come good to take these awards from her. “Flowers” also said she was thankful and somewhat surprised at the amount of awards she received but that it showed that hard work pays off. She said that she would continue to play basketball as long as the Lord gave her strength to do so and it was a goal of hers to set an example of aspiring female basketballers to see what is required to reach this level and also to encourage them in their personal lives to strive for higher things beyond what society may offer.
Latifa Wood of Combined Schools Hoopsters was Most Improved for the 2015 season while Safiya Henry of Station Hill took home the Best Defensive player honors. Station Hill received the Championship trophies for their double titles and UWI Blackbirds were presented the Runners-Up trophy. The final award of the evening was given to Combined Schools Hoopsters’ Denise Alleyne for the Women’s Division Coach of the Year.