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WBA to stage Haiti benefit games

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

Sports will be added to local efforts to assist the people of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, when the Western Basketball Association (WBA) stages a fund-raising double-header at the Montego Bay Cricket Club Courts on Sunday, starting at 3:30 p.m.

"As an association, the WBA is desirous of joining the efforts of those who have been raising funds to assist the people in Haiti," said Mrs. Donalda Reid, the newly installed president of the WBA. "It was with that idea in mind why we have decided to stage this double-header."

In the 3:30 p.m. opening game, reigning WBA female champions Unique Ballers will oppose a female All-Stars team comprising players from the other clubs that participated in the 2009 WBA Female League.

In the second game at 5 p.m., reigning WBA male champions Hoopers will battle a WBA All-Stars team.

"We believe these games have the potential to generate a lot of excitement so we are expecting the fans to come out in large numbers," said Mrs Reid. "We will be charging a little more than we would normally charge for two games like these, but we hope the fans will recognise that this is for a special cause."

In a bid to safeguard the integrity of the effort, Mrs Reid has invited the local Red Cross to be part of the planning and supervising of the event and, as a consequence, Red Cross officials will be at the game to watch the entire process unfold.

Working hard

"At the end of the game we will count our gate receipts and have a cheque made out for the amount of the gate receipts to the Red Cross," said Mrs Reid. "They are already on-board with us and supporting the effort."

In addition to the players, who have gladly accepted the offer to contribute their skills in the two games, the table officials, the referees, gate cashiers and court rental cost have all been donated free of cost to support the effort.

"We will be working quite hard over the next few days to generate as much hype as we can for these two games because we really would like to make a substantial contribution," noted Mrs Reid.

"The Red Cross stressed that the Haitians need cash and water at this time so we are hoping that the cash we generate will help to meet that need. We are looking to make this the biggest event ever sponsored by the WBA."

Among the star players who have been confirmed for the games are the likes of Unique Ballers' Zandria Dell, Tracy-Ann Kelly and Kimlin Matheson. The female All-Stars team should feature Shadian Hemmings, Alisia Dawkins and Rita Spence.

Hoopers will feature Chayne Topey, Marlon Comrie and Omar Bell, while the All-Stars should feature Goyan Malcolm, Maurice Rodriques and Dennis Brown.