Thu | Jul 19, 2018

JaBA president eyes grassroot development

Published:Monday | April 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer

Last month's newly elected president of the Jamaica Basketball Association, Paulton Gordon, who expressed that he was impressed by the talent and skill displayed in the Western Conference finale of the National Basketball League (NBL) on Saturday, said his administration is keen on developing the sport to a level of national dominance.

After four years of absence, the Western Conference finale of the NBL saw Granville Jaguars defending their title 68-65 over Montego Bay Cricket Club Knights at the Montego Bay Cricket Club Court.

"We are looking at having a relationship with SDC (Social Development Commission) and Insports in terms of getting some grassroots action. That will see us rebuilding the base of basketball from the primary school and community level so we can have that fan base coming back to basketball. From there, we will look at how we can further promote and grow the sport at the elite level," said Gordon.

Like many other sporting affiliates who commend the work of the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, Gordon said that the school is a testament to the growth and development of the sport.

"It is obvious that the sport is growing in terms of skill and technical level, especially [since] the coaches that are trained by G.C. Foster are stretched far and wide now. So you find that the fundamentals of the game are understood by a lot of persons outside of the Corporate Area," said Gordon.

Gordon pointed out, however, that despite the pervasive growth of the sport, there are conferences that are not as active. He noted that his administration is targeting these areas for the coming months.

"The southern, central and western [areas] have a fair amount of basketball happening. However, the northern and eastern are lagging behind. We have asked our development vice president to pay particular attention to them, and hopefully, we can start our school league come September," said Gordon, who added that the association are looking at other ways to develop the sport nationally.

"For this year, we are looking at a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) coaching course and also an official's course during the summer. This is as we are trying to build out all layers of the sport so we can get all areas growing concurrently," he added.