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Feb 6, 2013

High School All Star Team scouting begins

An all star high school basketball team will be heading to the U.S. in April of this year to participate in the 2013 King James Classic in Ohio. Twelve students from high schools countrywide are hoping to make the cut that will land them an opportunity to win a basketball scholarship.  The selection will also get to compete internationally in a three day tournament and train alongside several top-notch players in U.S. universities. Last year, four athletes were given full scholarships where they are sharpening their basketball skills. Duane Moody looks back at the success of the program.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Back in April 2012, fifteen Belizean basketball players headed to Ohio in the United States to participate in one of the largest international high school competitions, the King James Classic AAU Tournament. It is an opportunity of a lifetime for high school students—one, to show off their b-balling talents and skills, the other is to give them the chance to secure a basketball scholarship courtesy of NBA player, Lebron James. Four lucky students were able to secure a spot at three universities and one high school and are on their way to becoming successful athletes.

 

Bernie Tarr

Bernie Tarr, Basketball Director

“I really believe that just getting out there and getting that opportunity to see what it is about. Plus the success of Kashief Dawson, Devon Daly, Triqie Middleton and Andrew Ortiz is having right now aboard is motivating them.”

 

Duane Moody

“Those persons that didn’t make the cut last year, they are allowed to participate this year again?”

 

Bernie Tarr

“As long as they are still in high school, yes. And that is going to be a great motivator because we are going to see some of the kids who made the kids last year who are still eligible this year, how much they have worked on their came; how much they improved compared to some of the kids that didn’t make the cut.”

 

The Belize High School All Stars team was chosen following a series of tryouts and training sessions back here at home. And now one year later, the Basketball Technical Officer is going to make his rounds once again touring the entire nation looking for that x-factor and that spirited youth with immense talent.

 

Bernie Tarr

“It’s for all high school basketball players—as long as you are in high school basically—we wanna try and get the best twelve basketball players to represent the Belize High School All Star Team in the Lebron James Tournament. We work with the district association and whatever clubs that are in those districts to try and get as many kids as possible and then we try to bring them together and select a group. Last year we selected a group of fifty, then cut that group down to twenty-one and then fifteen. We were only to take twelve last year, but ended up taking fifteen. So we want to try and use the same similar format, but it might not be the same because it will depend on the talent pool.”

 

The goal remains the same—to obtain at least one of the scholarships this year.

 

Bernie Tarr

“One thing I’ve noticed watching all the games throughout the country; through the regionals and the nationals is that the kids are really improved from last year when we did the national tryout. And even with the national U-16 team that went to Honduras, I’ve seen a lot of improvement with the kids.  Our goal last year was one. there was about an eight year drought before the last athlete got a basketball scholarship to the U.S. So I’m always gonna keep it as one, our goal is one and we are going to work hard for that one. One can make a difference. If it is two, three or four, we always want more, but we want one.”

 

The district-wide tryout starts on Thursday at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

On Friday, the tryout moves to Belmopan. On Saturday, it is in Belize City and then to Dangriga and Punta Gorda on Sunday. The group will then head north to Orange Walk and Corozal and finally students from the cayes will get their turn to compete.

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3 Responses for “High School All Star Team scouting begins”

  1. Storm says:

    I’m all for sports to train children up in teamwork, sportsmanship, to live healthy, and to teach them they can achieve more and more by practice and hard work. Good teams also help national and community pride. I’d like to see some basketball camps during the year, before the tryouts, so players all over the Jewel can get some tips to improve their play.

  2. basketball enthusiast says:

    Storm….the Belize Bank Bulldogs Basketball Club started a developmental youth basketball program seven years ago in 2006. There is a camp every Saturday from 8am – 6pm at the Bird’s Isle basketball court for under 12, under 16, and under 18. This camp has been the most consistent and its efforts are spareheaded by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, Rupert Brown, and Roscoe Rhys, all former semi-pro basketball players. There are no coincidences that the five high school students who recieved scholarships to US colleges in 2012 are all members of the Bulldogs Basketball Club. Kachief Thomas, Devin Daley, Andrew Ortiz, Tariq Middleton and Vince Young Jr all started out at the inception of the Bulldogs developmental camp back in 2006 and remained committed and focussed over the years thus resulting in their individual growth and success. The truth is that last year of the 15 players who left Belize to participate in the King James tournament the overwhelming majority were selected directly from out of the Bulldogs camp. This year will be no different. Actually, what Bernie Tarr has failed to mention in all this is that he has had no real support from the Belize Basketball Federation or the Sports Council and he has had to lobby mostly on his own for sponsorship of any initiatives such as this one which is geared at creating an opportunity to showcase our youth’s talents and get them scouted to a 4 year college where they can pursue their education. Coach Tarr has had to rely on partnering his efforts with the same coaches and sponsor of the Bulldogs Basketball Club to make these dreams for the youth become a reality. In my humble opinion, Coach Tarr could have made mention of the fact that the tryouts will be held at the Bulldogs weekly basketball camp ( giving credit where credit is due). Under Chimilio football was being stifled in Belize for way too long, as is the case in most other sports here in Belize. Vicente has been a refreshing ray of light in the sport and has restored much integrity and hope in the sport of football. Again, action speak louder than words, so it is no coincidence that in the first year Vicente replaced Chimilio Belize saw a tremendous turnaround in our performance in regional and international play. Similarly, Belize Basketball Federation has shown no vision or prudent management skills when it comes to the best interest of the sport here in the jewel. All we hear is that they are broke and need money when a trip is coming up and they are trying to raise funds. That federation needs a whole new group of honest and dedicated individuals who really want to move the sport forward and have solutions instead of always blaming and complaining and not doing anything. Big ups are in order for coach Tarr and the Belize Bank Bulldogs Club for staying committed to the development of our jewel’s young rising basketball talent. Keep up the good work. I will be at the tryouts tomorrow to lend a supporting hand in any way possible and to encourage players and coaches to keep doing their best. We have to make this thing work! Corruption in high and low places need to get exposed and erradicated. Love is the answer.

  3. b-ball love says:

    I like this alot, it will help to expose Belizean talent. When opportunities come like this for the females?

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