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Funding quest


JUSTIN MARVILLE

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THEY’RE CERTAINLY not among basketball’s elite.
Yet Barbados hope to make their presence felt at the upcoming World Championships.
Local organising secretary Derrick Garrett is set to become just the second member of the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association [BABA] to attend a FIBA World Congress when both the quadrennial assembly and tournament get under way in Turkey by weekend.
But his plans go far beyond just rooting for Kevin Durant and Team USA.
With the sport here in severe crisis, Garrett is looking at garnering assistance from the world governing body, whether financial or technical, for an executive that has been in the doldrums since 2007.
“My initial aim is to have discussions with some of the hierarchy in FIBA and to establish what we would need to do to get the necessary funding from FIBA, if that is something that they do,” he said.
“I am hoping to get an idea of what assistance FIBA can lend us in three specific areas: technical assistance in coaching, officiating development, and funding for special projects, primarily junior programmes.”
It’s the first time that the BABA is sending a representative to the congress following then Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) vice-president Francis Williams’ participation at the 2002 edition in Indianapolis, United States.
The general sentiment, however, is that Garrett’s presence at the congress won’t achieve its intended purpose other than to provide an opportunity to network with other participating federations.
Drawing on his experience of eight years ago, Williams observed: “The opportunities won’t be there to do anything significant that will impact the game at the ground.
“Any FIBA funding comes through the FIBA Americas, so all of our efforts would have to be at the CBC level or the FIBA Americas. Even if he [Garrett] gets to speak to the president off the record he will still be sent back down through those channels.”
With that in mind, Garrett still hopes his trip can gain results for a floundering local body which hasn’t even garnered a title sponsor for any of its five leagues over the last two seasons.
But the organising secretary readily admitted that it was a situation even FIBA might not be able to resolve.
“I think the general body needs to reassess the people they elect to the executive, because too often we pick 13 people on council and then you’re left with three or four individuals doing all the work,” he said.
“People might be popular in the basketball public but at the end of the day they must have the commitment to work within the council and to do the things necessary to make the game a success.”
The World Championships begin tomorrow while the three-day congress opens next week on September 4.

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