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Dec 14, 2005

Belizean Basketball Association starts draft pick process

Story PictureIn recent years, basketball has dribbled off the local sports scene, largely due to lack of support from sponsors and fans. But right around the time P.U.P. backbencher Cordel Hyde was reinstated as Minister of Sports and Youth, came word that come 2006 sneakers will be screeching across the hardwood in official league play. Tonight six teams have signed on to participate: squads from the Belize Bank and Belize Telecommunications Limited will play out of Belize City; the University of Belize will call Belmopan its home court; and teams from Corozal, Orange Walk, and San Pedro will all suit up for the competition. This afternoon officials of the National Sports Council gathered with representatives of those teams for the first round of an official draft pick for players. Following a lottery, U.B. will get first dibs on players with B.T.L., Belize Bank, Corozal, San Pedro, and Orange Walk respectively lining up to come up with a winning combination. Next Wednesday night at seven, also at the National Sports Council conference room at the Belize City Centre, the actual draft will be held where the players will find out who they will be suiting up for. According to Commissioner of the Belize Basketball Association, Troy Gabb, going this way will ensure that fans get their money’s worth at the games.

Troy Gabb, Commissioner, Belize Basketball Association
?What has happened in the course of the previous years is that teams and players have negotiated in an open format and you end up with situations where the teams can afford a bit more are the more stronger teams. And that lends itself for sort of non-competitive type games where fans don?t come to the games because they can already predict what the outcome is going to be. This format will create parity, meaning that each team will have an opportunity to pick three A players, three B players, and the unrated players are going to be up to how good the management of those teams are. But at least the core of the team is going to be competitive because the selection process to identify A and B players really identified what is considered the highest level of players that we have in this country.?

?Owners are asked, don?t come to league if you?re going to not be able to come at full strength. Camp will open the first week in January, that?s the agreement that the owners have made and therefore players and teams will be in good condition come February the seventeenth because six weeks is sort of adequate time for teams to get ready. So we look forward firstly to be able to assure the fans that they are going to have a competitive tournament and we continue to find attractive ways to get fans back in the arenas.?

In related news, tonight we are informed that female basketball star Tracy Garnett has survived her first tryout for the Women’s National Basketball League, having been chosen out of a pool of ninety players last Saturday. And even though Garnett suffered a sprained ankle during play, she has been asked to join a smaller group of approximately twenty-five players to participate in a draft scheduled for December twentieth in San Jose, California. Until then, Tracy is keeping her fingers crossed while she camps out with her aunt in New York.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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