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Guam Basketball launch youth showcase tournament

HAGATNA (Guam) - The local basketball scene in Guam has struggled during the pandemic but with restrictions starting to loosen up, the Guam Basketball Confederation (GBC) buckled down to work to acclimate basketball back to the public.

GBC organized their first-ever youth basketball showcase that started this week featuring U8, u10, u14, u16 and U18 division tournaments.

"This is the first of probably many showcases we want to organize, we wanted to use this opportunity to have a fundraiser for our U17 Guam basketball team," shared GBC Vice President, Frank Cruz.

"Usually we support other local associations in their comeptitions but we felt like it was GBC's turn to organize a youth competition in the island," he added.

The competition will feature one division per week with 5-7 games to determine the winners of each age group.

Photos from Guam Daily Post

Cruz also mentioned that the U17 Guam national team players are helping out as officials for the tournament to support their upcoming campaign in the FIBA U17 Oceania Championship to be held in Samoa this year.

"We're trying to do a fundraiser for the U17 for Samoa, our players officiate, doing table duties and they are going to get a lot of the proceeds that come out of the tournaments. This was made possible with our partner KFC and we are grateful for the support," he shared, with the competition officially known as the KFC showcase.

Cruz, who is also part of the FIBA Oceania Board, was enthusiastic with the reception to the competition and believed that they are on the right track in getting things back to normal in Guam.

"The reception to the games has been amazing so far, I spoke to some of the parents they told me that they just wanted their kids to play and were happy to see them out and about. It has been 16 months since the pandemic struck and this is kind of the start we wanted," said Cruz.

The amiable official also discussed this tournament as a possible source for scouting and recruitment channel for youth national teams in Guam.

"We're just excited to get all the kids playing, we are using this opportunity to get to know the kids and to get them involved with GBC. We look forward to the future of Guam national teams and transition them smoothly in the program," he ended.