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Barbados are focused on building a sustainable Youth Development Programme
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Barbados are focused on building a sustainable Youth Development Programme

BRIDGETOWN - After a long time without a structured Youth Development Programme, the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA), led by its President, Mr. Francis Williams, are now in the initial phase of a progressive plan to commence the process earlier to prepare players.

It's not an easy task in a country where cricket, football (soccer) and track are the main recreational options.

“Basketball is not one of the main sports in Barbados and we need to do much more to initiate players earlier on, and that’ll be our focus from here on,” said Williams to FIBA.basketball. “(It's not easy) but with a scaled approach and taking it step by step I'm confident that we’ll make it.”

The national tournaments system is fundamental for basketball to stay alive in Barbados. Their Premier League features the best seven teams in the country that fight for the title and, according to Williams, the competition raises its level every year.

They also have the President’s Cup, a separate tournament for the better-ranked clubs after the first round of the main tournament, with a double-elimination format.

“This is a new format and the teams are very excited about it,” said Williams.

With their plan to gain popularity, BABA also intend to celebrate three tournaments in the well-known 3x3 discipline, which has been heavily promoted by FIBA and will be part of the programming of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“The 3x3 is still new but it's growing, and we've been using it to present not only new players, but also new sports fans. The rapid rhythm is exciting, and it’ll always be a part of our programs from here on,” stated the President.

Meanwhile, the Barbados U-17 national women's team recently received an invitation to participate at Centrobasket, which will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from July 7 to 11. As for the senior national men’s team, they recently ended in third place in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Caribbean Pre-Qualifiers, with Guyana and Antigua.