Tue | Aug 4, 2020

National Basketball Courts almost ready

Published:Saturday | July 11, 2020 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Sports Development Foundation (SDF) General Manager Denzil Wilks says the refurbishing of the National Basketball Courts, at Independence Park, is close to completion.

“The basketball courts have been completed and the only thing that is outstanding at this point in time is lighting, and the lights are being installed at the facility as we speak,” Wilks said.

“It took some time to complete and, of course, it got interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are almost there now and while we are completing the work, the Basketball Association is going through the process of developing its protocols as to when we can return to having basketball being played at the facility.”

As part of the refurbishing work, the seating capacity has been expanding from 400 to 1,000.

Wilks said that the upgrading of the facility will enhance the development of the sport in the country.

“The surface is better than the normal concrete surface,” he said. “It heals when you fall on it, so hopefully we will be able to reduce injuries and make for better development of the game,” he said.

Marland Nattie, second vice-president of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), said that the organisation is overwhelmed and satisfied with the renovation.

“This was what we were longing for because without having a home court, it severely hampered all our programmes from juniors to the seniors,” Nattie said.

“Even though we got some limited access to the National Indoor facility, this was never easily accessible to us at the point in time when we wanted to use it for the local leagues or for national training, so having these courts is a tremendous thing for us.”

Nattie, who is a former president of JaBA, said that he would like the SDF to consider putting a roof over the facility in the near future.

“We now have two usable courts, along with stands on both sides, so it is definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.