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Jul 31, 2015

Basketball Tournament Underway In the City

Peace and Light Foundation, with support from the Belize Bank and other partners, is hosting a basketball tournament at the Bird’s Isle Basketball Court. Eight teams in two categories are playing to win medals and trophies at the finals on Sunday. News Five stopped in at today’s event to get the highlights of the games this morning.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A four-day basketball tournament got underway on Thursday in Belize City. While it is an initiative aimed at developing the skills of young Belizean athletes, for organizer Roscoe Rhys, it has grown into more than just a sporting event.

 

Roscoe Rhys

Roscoe Rhys, Coach & Organizer

“Eight teams are in the tournament, four U-14 and four U-18. We have Benque, Caye Caulker, Light and Peace and Belize Bank Bulldogs for the under fourteen. For the under eighteen, we have Bulldogs, Light & Peace, Hoop Dreams and Chetumal.  We wanted a weekend of four day games, so it will be a total of eighteen games in four days and we always travel across the border for these guys to play so it is  good to have them home to play in this tournament at home in front of their friends, the other players and family members.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, you have a team here from Chetumal. How important is that we have these youngsters here play with other talents in the region?”

 

Roscoe Rhys

“It is very important because it gives the kids to see how others from the region play the sport of basketball. Also, they get to make new friends and also the language barrier because they are Spanish speaking kids and while we have English speaking kids, some of them do speak some Spanish so it is also good when they interact with them.”

 

And for players on the Caye Caulker and Peace And Light Teams, the tournament is an opportunity to show off their skills on the court and to play the sport that they love:

 

John Trejo, Caye Caulker

“I learn how to play and grow to see more people.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How long have you been playing basketball?”

 

John Trejo

John Trejo

“Long, long time…from ever since I was eight.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What’s your position on your team and why?”

 

John Trejo

“Defense….I like it because it teach you how to do things and stuff when you play other sports.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Why you decided to start play basketball?”

 

Zidane Colon

Zidane Colon, Peace & Light

“My uncle inspired me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What is it that you like about basketball?”

 

Zidane Colon

“When yo dribble and shoot.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What position you play on your team?”

 

Zidane Colon

“Point guard.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Tell me which one of the teams you want beat on this court?”

 

Lahji Rosado

Zidane Colon

“Benque because like deh hard fi beat.”

 

Lahji Rosado, Caye Caulker

“I like to play basketball because like you could go other places and you could have fun and yes.”

 

Harlem Noralez, Peace Light

“Miss, I like play basketball; I like dribble and shoot.”

 

Harlem Noralez

Andrea Polanco

“Would you say that you have a natural skill, a natural talent for it?”

 

Harlem Noralez

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Anybody inspired you or motivated you to start play basketball?”

 

Harlem Noralez

“Yes ma’am, my dad.”

 

While basketball seems to be in good hands in Belize, Rhys says more investment is needed to develop the sport.

 

Roscoe Rhys

“The future of basketball in Belize is very bright and it is just to get the kids to play more structure so there is definitely a lot of talent in the country of Belize. We are trying to make the change and do lot more for these young people in the sports, because sports is world-wide. There is so much for these young men and sport teaches them discipline, hard work through dedication, and so many attributes that contribute to and will benefit these young men, so  we definitely want more businesses and more support from the community because we need more sporting outlets for our athletes because through sports you can go so far.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

The games continue on Saturday at nine and the finals kick off at nine on Sunday morning. 

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