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May 30, 2022

Hundreds of Youth Athletes Tryout to Make the U16 National Team

During the course of Saturday and Sunday, the Belize Basketball Federation convened tryouts, as it searches for the best athletes fifteen years old and younger who will form the male U-16 national team to compete in regional games. These qualifying matches are in the hopes of making it to the World Cup of Basketball COCABA competition. News Five’s Duane Moody showed up as the scouting took place for the Belize District at the Mexico Sports Center.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The first stop on Saturday was the western region at the Belmopan Hilltop court, as U-sixteen players from across the Cayo District came out to see if they’d make the cut. The recruitment team then headed south to the Russell Chiste Garcia Auditorium in Dangriga where youth ballers from Stann Creek and Toledo, who have been engaged in the sport over the past few months, came out for their shot at making the national team.


Jacob Leslie

Jacob Leslie, President, Belize Basketball Federation

“It’s a great opportunity, I think it is something that we wanted to change the narrative for.  In previous national teams, we found that there were special people invited to tryouts and we wanted to make sure that everybody had an opportunity so we had open tryouts where anybody who qualifies for the age group, can come out and then prove whether they qualify for the team or not.”


On Sunday at the Mexico Sports Center in Belize City, the talent pool was immense. From those recently active in the Ahmadiyya Basketball League, to other clubs across the city that returned as champs from Chetumal – they were all engaged and looking for an opportunity to represent the country. Sixteen-year-old Devin Moody and fifteen-year-old Jason Orosco are both prospects that are likely to make the cut.


Devin Moody

, Athlete

“From I small it was a goal to represent Belize under a national team so I have been working hard and I have been waiting for this opportunity.”


Duane Moody

“You think you will make it?”


Devin Moody

“Well, I have a high possibility of making the cut. I’m very excited to represent my country. Well I have been representing it many times but under the national team and representing the whole country I am very excited.”


Jason Orosco

, Athlete

“I di watch basketball from I small and I start to pick it up from I was five years old, I say I want be one of Belize’s best and that dah what I di fight for. That’s why I work out hard every day and I do stuff like that.

ina di Ahmadiyya, I neva had nothing under twenty points. Lone twenty-one points, eight rebounds, seven assists, four three blocks and stuff like that.”


Duane Moody

“So you think yo wah make it?”


Jason Orosco

“Yes sir. I can’t say I know I wah make it because dah noh me di thing or nothing, but I know I stand a chance fi make it pan di team. Belize has talent so what we are trying to do is work hard and trying to put Belize pan di map.”


Head coach for the national team is Bernie Tarr. No stranger to the sport and developing athletes, Tarr says that they are looking for about twenty to thirty young athletes – the best of the best. But it goes beyond talent.


Bernie Tarr

Bernie Tarr, Head Coach, U-16 National Team

“Of course we want to take a look at the best talent across the whole country. We were in Belmopan yesterday morning, down in Dangriga in the evening. Belize City this morning and then up to Orange Walk to take a look at the players across the country, evaluate them. We are really including all the coaches throughout the country. Being coachable, of course athletic talent, but as you know athletic talent can only take you so far. We have been pushing about academics too, the grades, because academics can open up so many more doors for you as you get older in your professional career.”

Following the selection process, a schedule will be created for the members. Duane Moody for News Five.

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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