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El Salvador hosted one of the most relevant events of Central America
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El Salvador hosted one of the most relevant events of Central America

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR — The Elections Assembly of the Central American Basketball Confederation took place on Tuesday, January 29 and featured the presence of the Central American federations’ leaders. The event was presided by Usie Richards, FIBA Americas President; Carlos Alves, FIBA Americas Executive Director; Ruperto Herrera, President of CONCENCABA (Cuba); Yamil Bukele, President of COCABA (El Salvador); and Paul Thompson, Vice-President of COCABA (Belize).

The main objective was electing the leaders, who will oversee the 2019-2023 period in the Central American region. The members used their right to vote (one vote per country) to elect Mario Méndez, of ADEMEBA (Mexico), as President; Paul Thompson (Belize) was reelected as Vice-President; and Álvaro Calvo, of FECOBA (Costa Rica) as Secretary.

“I'm very happy, above all, for the decision and the transparency with which the elections were celebrated. It makes a great difference, as does the new FIBA. This is the way in which we must work, in a clean way to improve the development of basketball in Central American,” stated the new COACABA president, Mario Méndez.

“I'm more than happy and proud of the fact that Mexico was considered, since it has invested time and strong work to be here. This is thanks to all my colleagues back home and the thousands of children that participate in the events that we celebrate and that strengthen the movement in Central America. I feel joyful and proud to be the representative in FIBA Americas' Board to fight for the rights of our youth," added the Mexican leader.

The elected members have demonstrated a great commitment to the region and have positively impacted each one of their federations. The future is quite promising for the zone.

“For me, this election means integration, communication, and striving for the best. Working to elevate the region is a great commitment, and it's an honor that they've considered my name. Volunteer directives want to share everything we've learned, and we keep learning every day. We’ll do the work for our children and athletes’ future,” said Álvaro Calvo.

COCABA is conformed by eight member countries: Mexico, Belice, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

“One of the pillars will be to strengthen the communications between the pillars of Central America and to prepare, not only coaches and players, but also the directives, in order to make better decisions for the development of basketball,” affirmed Méndez to FIBA.

Meanwhile, the work done by Yamil Bukele in his role as President of COCABA from 2014 to 2018 was of great importance to the region. As organizer of the Assembly and outgoing president, he talked about what it meant to welcome an event of this caliber and host presidents from all Central American federations.

“It’s as if these five years were only a couple of hours I truly enjoyed, fleeting hours that I am proud to have successfully concluded. I wish the best to the new directive board that will be elected today; I urge you to do your best and seek consensus. But, mainly, and without a doubt it will be like this, to achieve that our Sub Subzone is harmonious, dynamic and full of achievements,” added the Salvadorian directive.

About his stage as President, he stated: "We have achieved to return institutionalism to COCABA, gradually establishing that our marks and logos be present in tournaments and that they be effected successfully. We tried to find a balance in relation to the capacities of our countries and member federations."

“We were able to celebrate, through the FIBA Americas and the Referees Department, several courses and camps. We did, after a six-year absence, the League of Champions Club and we achieved a space in Liga de las Américas, and our champion clubs are still participating in these tournaments. We support the continental mini basketball camp in the Sub Subzone,” pointed out the directive regarding some of the achievements of his term.