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Apr 13, 2011

Basketball Federation explains why it won’t take part in regional games

The Belize Basketball Federation announced on Tuesday a decision to forgo the upcoming COCABA games. It’s a major decision for basketball and a blow for many fans, especially after team Belize put off a stellar performance at the previous COCABA Championships in August 2009 in Cancun. The hopes of the nation were on an all time high when the team brought home the silver, losing only to Mexico. The team had another impressive round of wins last year at the Centro Basket Tournament in the Dominican Republic, but they were eliminated when they lost the Puerto Rican powerhouse. So why did the BBF throw in the towel when the team showed so much promise? The federation President, Paul Thompson explained the decision this morning.

Paul Thompson, President, Belize Basketball Federation

“This year, there will be four categories of games for COCABA championship. We will be having a COCABA U-17 Championship in Costa Rica in May. The national U-16 team will be participating in Centro Basket Championships in México in June and then we have at the end of this month, the men’s COCABA championship. We made the decision that we will refocus our resources and energies toward our younger categories of our national team. This decision is in alignment with our long term plan in developing our younger players who are here in Belize.”

Isani Cayetano

Paul Thompson

“One would want to question that decision based on the fact that the men’s national team performed so well in august 2009. Why then would this drastic change be needed?”

Paul Thompson

“Well that crop of players that participated in 2009 were an excellent group of players. We thought that we would make an attempt at going to the Olympics. I believe, we believe, that we made a good run with those guys. We qualified for Centro Basket and we were right there; maybe one game away. Those players, a couple of them, the leaders of that team—particularly: Milt Palacio and Kenon Jordan—from before decided that they wouldn’t continue if we didn’t qualify for the next round. In speaking to Milt earlier this year, he reiterated that and so we decided to refocus. We also did very well with our national U-15 team last year in the COCABA Championships in Guatemala and so we had success with that as well. Another reason is that resources to go to these championships for men is tremendous and at this time we believe that those resources we want to gear towards our younger players.”

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the support from the ministry, what has that been like? I know you keep mentioning resources; I’m thinking financial and other form of wherewithal. Can you speak with us about the support from the ministry itself?”

Paul Thompson

“Last year we got good support from the ministry, however, the cost of going to Centro Basket for example was somewhere over two hundred thousand dollars and the source of funding are three areas: from the Government of Belize, from the National Olympic Committee and from private sector. It is a challenging task to do that. Last year, the government supported us fairly well, but not to the amount of two hundred and seventy thousand. So we believe that we will seek government’s assistance to gear towards our younger players as you know in these times in Belize, we believe that these resources would have much more impact to develop our players and for us to have something for our players to do for recreation, for them to have some games to play. For example right now we have the Belize Telemedia national U-15 and U-17 tournament that will culminate in Orange Walk Town this weekend. We had over seventy teams from across the country; in each district we had U-15 and U-17 teams. That’s a lot of players; that is a wide range of players; a wide impact we have. We believe that taking this resource and our energies to help our local guys is where we wanna go now.”

The B.B.F. will instead focus on the younger athletes who will participate in the under-fourteen through under-seventeen games to be held in Costa Rica in May.

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3 Responses for “Basketball Federation explains why it won’t take part in regional games”

  1. Yeah Right says:

    Real Reason – The BBF knows if they take an all “local” team to tournament they will get beat!! So instead of getting embarrassed they decide not to participate!!! Yes it is great for our youths!! Also we should see an accounting of the money and how it was spent cause it is a fact the team managers who went along with the team to Dominican Republic – STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN PAID!!!! And also some other bills are outstanding!!

  2. CEO says:

    So what will happen when the younger guys become the age of the current older team? Will you dis them also for younger teams? This is such a BS reason!

    Between him and Chimilio will we ever have any athletes or facilities for athletics?

  3. Dissapointed UDP says:

    Bring back the tape where the Prime Minister, seizing a photo-op with the winning senior team, promised a new basketball gymnasium!!!!!!!!!

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