Basketball uncertainty in westThursday, June 24, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Despite Government's approval for the resumption of training and competition in the sport of basketball as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually eased, stakeholders in western Jamaica say they are yet to be advised under what conditions the sport will be played.
Two weeks ago the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA) got the nod from the Jamaican Government to restart but an executive of the Western Basketball Association (WBA) told the Jamaica Observer West they are still awaiting meetings with the parent body to be told the way forward.
“I don't even know what to tell you, there isn't really any excitement because it's really not too clear what has been freed up,” said the executive, who did not want to be named.
“Except for camps, national team training and some three-on-three activity, JaBA has not met with any of its members to explain what we are permitted to do, so we are still waiting on them to convene a meeting with the WBA.”
Paulton Gordon, president of JaBA, had confirmed with the Observer West days after the sport was added to the list of sports that were allowed to restart, said plans were already in place for the staging of the Star Search Camp and preparation of the Under-17 team that is to participate in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) event later this year.
“We are elated that we have finally gotten permission to start some basketball activities,” said Gordon, adding that “the protocol guidelines are stringent so we are scrutinising and making some plans for the summer.”
Basketball is the latest sport that was allowed to restart after the restrictions on gathering caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, joining track and field, golf, swimming, cricket and football, which is scheduled to get underway this weekend with the belated start of the Premier League.
Initially, Gordon said, fans will not be allowed at any of the events in keeping with the protocols.
Western Jamaica has a vibrant basketball culture with leagues from the Under-14 high schools up to the club level.