Bright outlook for junior b’ball
The signs could already be pointing to Barbados’ successful return to regional junior basketball.
Boys’ rookie head coach Zahir Motara, and his seasoned girls’ counterpart, Cosmo Edwards, are both encouraged by their teams’ prospects ahead of this summer’s Caribbean Basketball Under-16 Championships following last Saturday’s first practice sessions.
The two were speaking in light of the adequate turnout for Saturday morning’s open training at Springer Memorial, where a combined 48 juniors participated in on-court drills.
“I am encouraged at what I have seen. of course, there is a lot of work ahead but right now we have to keep it basic to bring them up to a certain level,” said Edwards of the players.
“Every session we will be trying to bring them closer to what we want them to do and get them closer to eventual game situations. however, the drills are currently just basic passing, dribbling and other fundamental stuff.
“From early though, I can see we mostly have to improve on our shooting, ball-handling and the basic knowledge of the game,” he added.
Barbados have not attended a regional junior tournament since the boys finished a disappointing seventh at the 2005 Under-19 competition in Trinidad.
But local basketball president Derrick Garrett had long committed to sending two teams to this year’s tournament in Puerto Rico, especially in light of the senior teams’ recent struggles.
And with the likes of Women’s League point guard Ashlee Daniel, along with Intermediate players Nikolai Burton and Andrew Ifill, Motara believed the returns from both teams should be encouraging.
“There is always talent, it’s just all about how hard the players are willing to work and push themselves in becoming the best they can be,” said Motara.
The open sessions are expected to continue for the girls on Wednesday at Springer Memorial before both squads return to the same venue on Saturday morning for the first cuts.