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Upshaw wants to bring Jamaicans back "home" to Canada and FIBA U18 Americas Championship
ST CATHERINES (Centrobasket U17 Championship 2017) - Tarry Upshaw will have extra motivation when he goes to Dominican Republic this summer to coach Jamaica at the Centrobasket U17 Championship 2017. He wants to bring the Jamaicans back "home" to the FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018 in Canada.
Jamaica are already in unchartered waters just being at the Centrobasket U17 Championship 2017 from 26-30 July in Dominican Republic - the first time the country has made the tournament at the youth levels. But the Canadian coach Upshaw doesn't want to stop there.
"I want to qualify for FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018," said Upshaw, knowing that only the top three from the tournament will reach the continental tournament.
"It's really unique with the FIBA (U18) Americas (Championship 2018) being in Canada. It is actually a two-minute walk from Ridley over the bridge. I see it every single day. I want to medal and qualify. That's my goal."Tarry Upshaw
The 2018 U18 event will be played at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, a building which Upshaw knows very well being the basketball head coach at nearby Ridley College in St. Catharines.
"It's really unique with the FIBA (U18) Americas (Championship 2018) being in Canada. It is actually a two-minute walk from Ridley over the bridge. I see it every single day," said Upshaw, whose team will face Dominican Republic, Panama and Virgin Islands in Group B in Santo Domingo. "I want to medal and qualify. That's my goal."
The top two from each group reach the Semi-Finals and the top three advance to FIBA U18 Americas Championship. Jamaica have only played at one men's FIBA AmeriCup - that in 2013 in Venezuela.
Upshaw, who played a major role in developing youth basketball in Canada, is spending his second summer with Jamaica after federation president Mark Broomfield wanted to totally rebuild the country's program. The coach helped build up the infrastructure in the build-up to the Caribbean U16 Championship 2016, Jamaica's first appearance in that competition since 1998.
Jamaica managed to win the first game against Suriname in overtime despite 39 turnovers. Upshaw's team eventually beat Barbados in the 3rd-Place Game to qualify for the Centrobasket U17 Championship 2017.