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Feb 6, 2023

Belize Basketball Elite League’s Appeals Tribunal Resigns Amidst Kirk Smith Jr. Controversy

Basketball player for the Benny’s Belize Hurricanes, Kirk Smith Junior, was still not cleared to play on Friday night, despite an appeals tribunal ruling in his favor. The fact that the ruling was not the definitive decision by the league has resulted in the masse resignation of the appeals tribunal, which comprises of members: Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer, Carlton Young, and Charles Ellis. It is a massive blow for the B.E.B.L. and the sport of basketball in Belize. If you have been following the B.E.B.L. from the start, you would know that Kirk Smith Junior, the son of Belize’s basketball legend, Kirk ‘Shabba” Smith Senior, has been embroiled in controversy over his contract with the Benny’s Belize Hurricanes. Smith was accused of signing two contracts for the 2023 B.E.B.L. season, the first with the Belize City Defenders and a second with the Benny’s Belize Hurricanes. In light of these allegations, the league’s Commissioner, Chris McGaan, suspended Smith for a year. Soon after, the management of Hurricanes appealed the decision. And, on Thursday night, the league’s appeal tribunal handed down its ruling.


In summary, the tribunal found that Smith’s contract with the Defenders had not been properly executed and that the league commissioner erred in suspending Smith. The tribunal also found that the only executed contract examined was between Kirk Smith Junior and the Hurricanes. Well, information to News Five is that the league did not accept the tribunal’s ruling. News of this decision got to members of the tribunal, and over the weekend, all three members of the tribunal handed in their resignation, saying, “This action is being taken as we see no point in exercising our function in an environment where our decisions will be ignored when convenient to do so, or when one party is unhappy with the outcome”. Smith’s mother also comes to his defense via a social media post. Here is what she had to say.


Mother of Kirk Smith Jr.

Mother of Kirk Smith Jr.

“Kirk Shabba Smith Junior never signed two contracts. He signed one legal binding contract with the Belize Hurricanes who flew him out. Yes the Belize Defenders contacted him first. Yes, the Belize Defenders were talking to him first. But, there was never a legal binding contract, which Ms. Sharon Frazer explained to the Belize Defenders when they took it up to the court. Now, they went and called an emergency meeting with all the teams together and try and sanction Kirk Shabba Smith Junior for seven games. And as the mother of Kirk Shabba Smith Junior I am taking this up to FIBA and so now it is in FIBA’s hand. And they are going to see the hypocrisy that is happening in Belize.”

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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