Suspended schoolboy basketball coach weighs options

Observer West writer

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny - Ronald Beckford, coach of the William Knibb Memorial High School basketball teams, says he is standing his ground and not backing down from actions that led to him being banned for two years from competitions organised by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA).

Beckford, who is also the dean of discipline for the Martha Brae-based high school, was found guilty of bringing game two of the ISSA Western Conference Boys' Under-16 final against Herbert Morrison at the Cricket Club in Montego Bay into disrepute on February 2.

A week later, the ban was handed down following a meeting at ISSA's offices in Kingston, after the incident that took place in full view of ISSA basketball chairman Hazel Cameron.

As a result, Beckford will not be allowed on the court as his team takes part in the national play-offs that get under way next week. His team is drawn in Zone four against Calabar High and Knox College.

With three minutes left in game two of the best-of-three finals on February 2 at the Montego Bay Cricket Club, and William Knibb down a game and 28-40, Beckford's aggressive dispute of the number of fouls on a Herbert Morrison player held up the game for several minutes before he was eventually ordered off the court, and the game resumed.

On Tuesday, Beckford, who told the Jamaica Observer West that he had discussed the matter with the administration of the school, said he had not made up his mind whether he would appeal the ban.

William Knibb only made it to the semi-finals of the competition when ISSA upheld an appeal over one of their two games that were forfeited during the regular season.

William Knibb had forfeited games against Cornwall College and York Castle High and successfully appealled the game against the latter, resulting in them replacing York Castle in the top four.

They then staged a late comeback to beat Cornwall College in the semi-final, overturning a one-point deficit in the last 15 seconds to win by three points.

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