Brooklyn-based Guy Ballers to be headed by Louis Webster
Several former basketball players who congregate on weekends at the South Pacific Park to have ‘pick’ games have formed themselves into the Guy Ballers organisation with the intention of giving back to the sport in Guyana.
Following a meeting last Sunday, the unit of past players, who played competitive basketball in Linden especially, are now seeking to throw support behind the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA), which concentrates on playing competitive basketball matches at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court.
Louis Webster, a promising local player before he migrated to the United States, will head the steering committee of the new Guy Ballers body. Other office holders are as follows: Larry Bobb — 1st vice president; Terrence James — 2nd vice president; former national centre/ forward Dwayne Roberts – secretary; Dexter Walton – treasurer; Carl Wills — assistant treasurer; Ashton Angel Jr — organising secretary.
Committee members are former national forward Neil Marks, Rae Bayrd-Webster, Errol Hinds and Marcelle Angel.
At its initial meeting the name was suggested, and was confirmed earlier this week. The executive body of this organisation has committed to paying a monthly contribution towards fund-raising.
Joseph Chapman, Secretary of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association and the Mackenzie Sports Club, congratulated this new organisation on its formation, as did former World Boxing Champion Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Brathwaite, who also finds time to be with the basketball players on the playground.
Chapman was asked to update the body on what obtains with basketball, especially in Linden, and he spoke about the problems in getting a new fibreglass backboard for the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court, and the efforts which were made to obtain a new one after appeals were made to the various authorities for assistance, without success.
Chapman discussed the needs of the game back in Guyana, and said there was hope through the initiative of the Social Cohesion Ministry, which has recently made funds available to start upgrading the basketball courts at Amelia’s Ward, Retrieve, Silver City, Christianburg, and Kwakwani.
He, however, disclosed that the Christianburg hard court had not as yet received any cash to get the project off the ground.
At the same time Chapman, Assistant Secretary of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), outlined that the GABF intends to host its national club championship by the end of the year, and this makes getting a new fibreglass backboard for the MSC hard court an immediate need, as this would ensure Linden clubs are prepared for the national club championship, popularly known as The Road to Mecca championship.
He said the LABA and the MSC had retrieved one of the discarded metal backboards it had taken down some years ago to substitute for the broken fibreglass backboard, which was damaged since November last year.
The Guy Ballers is one of two groups of basketball players who have an interest in restoring the game in Linden. The other is stationed in New Jersey, USA and has among its planning team former national players Mike, Clifton and James Brusche, and former national coaches Linden Alphonso, John Davidson and Gary Stephens.