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‘Basketball Fiesta’ puts youth development first

Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 11, 2017

The school holiday period jumped off in fine style for several young basketball players as local athletic club, Spartans TT supported by the bmobile Foundation, hosted a special three-day youth development tournament entitled ‘Basketball Fiesta 2017’ at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain, from June 30 – July 2.
Altogether, nine clubs comprising of 36 teams converged on both the indoor and outdoor courts to take part in friendly competitive rivalry. They were Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy and Youth Development Programme, Stories of Success, Quarters United, Brian Chase Basketball Academy, Edinburgh 500, TSS Crusaders, Montrose Magic Machine, Trailblazers and hosts Spartans TT.
Additionally, several young men from the Joshua Boys’ Home basketball team were on-hand to witness the day’s proceedings. Their team is not yet complete but has been undergoing specialist training since October 2016 courtesy sponsors, bmobile and Spartans TT. Both organizations are working towards nurturing these young men through sport and education.
After the three days of exciting competition in multiple age groups, emerging champions in the boys’ categories were Maloney Pacers (Under-14 & Under-18), Stories of Success (Under-16), Brian Chase Academy (Under-12) and Spartans TT (Under-10). Topping the female division was Quarters United (Under-18).
In speaking with event organizer and Spartans TT president/technical director, Garvin Warwick, he revealed that ‘Basketball Fiesta’ was simply about giving kids between the ages of nine to 18 the opportunity to play alongside fellow local clubs.
“Tournaments such as this have not been happening in the country and we look forward to hosting this on an annual basis simply because it gives kids an opportunity to play basketball and develop their technique. We invited all the other clubs and academies across Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the competition. It’s about the overall development of basketball as a whole. As much as I can do to help the sport, I will,” he explained.
bmobile has been supporting projects like this which play an integral role nationally towards supporting local sport development. TSTT’s Vice President of Marketing, Camille Campbell, reiterated the importance of these corporate social responsibility activities which assist in generating positive avenues for youngsters.
“The intention, through basketball and through sport, is to get young people together and create camaraderie amongst the clubs. Our involvement with the Joshua Boys’ Home and ‘Basketball Fiesta’ is part of TSTT giving back to the young people of Trinidad and Tobago. Initiatives such as these help us get closer to the communities and people who make us, as an organization, who we are today,” she stated.
One spectator, 19-year-old Shamari Lewis from Belmont, cheered his team on from the stands and expressed pleasure for the ability to see his friends play competitively. Speaking while viewing matches on day-two, Lewis said, “It’s been a great day so far. I came to support TSS Crusaders and they’ve been doing well. I’m glad they got the opportunity to showcase their talents in a competition-like atmosphere. A lot of their players are young but they’re learning the fundamentals of basketball and progressing nicely. This is an amazing idea for a tournament because the kids come out to have fun and make friends through sport.”
Another viewer indicated that the introduction of sport activities enhances the ability to show the other positive side of children, besides academics. According to Devin Sookhoo, he believes that sport plays a critical part in the lives of young people.
“No matter what situation or background they come from. Boys have those genes where they need to exercise and burn out energy and this sporting environment is a great avenue. It’s good to see girls here today involved in basketball too. I think more companies like bmobile should come up with similar perspective like this because it helps children who have less academic structure to engage in something physical that can bring them future benefit,” said Sookhoo.
In conclusion, Warwick gave the assurance that events such as ‘Basketball Fiesta’ would continue to ensure young teams get a chance to compete. He remains confident that with the support of bmobile and other sponsors, friendly competitions would be able to be held on a more frequent basis thus providing kids with opportunities to enhance their talents and even learn new things from a sporting perspective.
Overall Results
U-10 (Mixed) – 1. Spartans TT; 2. Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy; 3. Montrose Magic Machine
U-12 (Mixed) – 1. Brian Chase Basketball Academy; 2. Spartans TT; 3. Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy
U-14 Male – 1. Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy; 2. Spartans TT; 3. Edinburgh 500
U-16 Male – 1. Stories of Success; 2. Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy; 3. Brian Chase Basketball Academy
U-18 Male – 1. Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy; 2. Stories of Success; 3. Spartans TT Sports Club
U-18 Female – 1. Quarters United; 2. Brian Chase Basketball Academy; 3. Edinburgh 500

MVPS
U-10 Male – Jedaiah King (Spartans TT)
U-10 Female – Krista Ramdial (Maloney Pacers)
U-12 Male – Jeremiah Simon (Spartans TT)
U-12 Female – Nisha Carrington
U-14 Male – S. Waldron (Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy)
U-16 Male – Jaheim Evelyn
U-18 Male – Ahkeem “Fatto” Boyd (Maloney Pacers Basketball Academy)
U-18 Female – S. Knights (Quarters United)

Youth Skills Challenge
1. Jackeem “Baby Curry” King (Brian Chase Basketball Academy); 2. Shane Noel Cadrie (Montrose Magic Machine); 3. Kimani Bilal (Edinburgh 500)


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