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How the 767 Development Program in Dominica led to a rise in their basketball level
ROSEAU (Dominica) - An academy that prepares its young basketball players for the highest level and gives them opportunities abroad is the priority of the Dominican Amateur Basketball Association (DABA).
For this reason, the 767 Youth Development Program was born three years ago. An initiative that works all aspects of basketball, from its basic skills, understanding of the game and exposure of its players outside the country. That is what its president Dunstan Maggie Peters said.
"The 767 Sports Club and its training program has been running for the past three years," Peters told FIBA.basketball. "It started as a summer camp and now it's a monthly program that runs year-round. We implemented it as an academy for children of seven years and older. The goal is to develop players, give them the basics, take them to a [higher] level and immerse them in the sport of basketball. The final result that we hope is that doors open for them, especially in schools."
The President reported that so far, the federation has managed to get three players recruited by High-Schools in the United States. They are, Kesean Shillingford (14 years, 6'8 ''), Malik Laurent (16 years, 6'6 '') and Jacob Barry. They also hope to export a fourth player to Florida soon.
"We taught them the basics of the game, not just how to play it, but also refereeing, the total understanding of the game. In addition to discipline, character and attitude. Now we are also taking videos of our sessions and players. Those who are starting to develop and look ready to play high quality basketball, we move them to the Elite Program, and we make videos to send it to High Schools and Universities talent hunters," explained Peters.
With the Program the President hopes to improve the involvement of the fans in the basketball of the island. According to him, the sport has reached the second level of popularity after football, so he expects more support from the fans and potential sponsors. "With this Program, basketball has become more popular, because children see the fruits, they see things happening. They are watching players go to the United States and playing abroad. They look very excited and the parents are interested,” Peters said.
DABA is also in construction of the roof for one of its courts, a factor that could be decisive for better preparation, through the uninterrupted activity of its programs and greater consistency.
"We have fans and sponsors who want to pay good money to see these kids play," said Peters. "For the past few years the quality has fallen down. Fans do not want to show up because they're disappointed in the quality. So that is one of the main goals of the 767 Program. Also the officials, the referees and the coaches have to be developed so that they can make the matches better.”
“As President, right now my focus is on the youth, the grassroots level, the foundation. The older players are fine, but my focus is to develop the sport and its quality. We need to work on our young players to take them to play at a higher level and in four or five years have something of good quality.”