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Jamaica miss shot at CARICOM champs

Published:Tuesday | May 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott

Jamaica's men's basketball team will not participate at this year's CARICOM Basketball Championships, scheduled for next month in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI).

However, Jamaica Basketball Association (JBA) president, Mark Broomfield, told The Gleaner that they did everything possible to get the team in the tournament.

"By the time I came to office and went to Barbados and tried to get both the male and female teams registered it was already late," said Broomfield, who was elected in January to a post that was left vacant for more than a year.

"You have to pay a deposit and the administration had no funds. But we tried to get the funding and when we did get some cash and I went to the meeting in Barbados, they had already selected 10 teams for the championship, so we could not get in even though we tried everything to enter the male team," he explained.

Being absent from the championship has serious implications for local basketball, as the tournament is one means of exposing local talent and it is also a qualifier for the World Championships and Olympic Games.

"We have been part of the championship for a very long time and normally we have two players from the local league that would play that would generate some interest locally, so it has set us back."

Broomfield though, revealed that they might still get an opportunity to qualify for a world tournament.

"Some teams with high potential that did not make it to the local or regional competitions, would be given a chance to qualify for the World Championships or Olympics," he said.

"The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) president did say all the countries classified as high potential will play in the Group B in a home and away series that will give a chance to all those teams to make it. So they (FIBA) are creating a Group B, only for male teams. But it won't be only teams from the Caribbean, teams from the Caribbean will be playing teams from Central America," he disclosed.

There is also the issue of expense, which most of the teams are concerned about.

"It cost more for a team to fly back and forth, instead of flying to a country and playing a one-week competition there. So some are concerned about the cost and are wondering what FIBA was going to do to offset some of these costs, so I am not sure when this (tournament) will start," he expressed.