GABF seeks to run off in 2021 competitions not held in 2020
Patience is a virtue that everyone involved in basketball in Guyana had needed in 2020. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) and Guyana’s basketball stars saw their season cancelled a week prior to its start. Patience has also been mandatory in quarantine situations.
Some talents were still able to play, like Anthony Moe, who was still able to play in the Nicaraguan league – Liga Superior de Baloncesto (LSB) – where he averaged 20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the UNAN Leon basketball club, which finished third in the LSB.
National standout Stanton Rose made his debut in the NCAA, after transferring to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, USA along with Kevon Wiggins, who transferred to Lamar College in Lamar, Colorado, USA.
The patience of local players was tested as the pandemic cancelled seasons at all levels. With the absence of play, the GABF took advantage of the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers and partners in multiple virtual meetings, clinics, and workshops. Members of the Guyana basketball fraternity attended virtual clinics and workshops offered by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the Central America and Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CONCENCABA) and the Guyana Olympic Association.
Several topics were presented by experts across the world, with focus on national federation development. Topics included media and marketing, coaches and game officials’ fundamentals, events management, sports psychology, anti-doping awareness, Women in Basketball, digital assets, local government partnership and community relations, to name a few.
As part of a “Stay Ready” campaign, the GABF completed three virtual activities; namely, the National Skills Challenge, Tricks for Kicks – Trick Shot Challenge, and the Uniform Design Challenge. The Guyana U17 men’s and women’s national teams received a special invitation to compete in the virtual FIBA World U17 Skills Challenge, but had to withdraw from the challenge due to COVID-19 shutdown.
The winning team from the Antilles 3×3 National Qualifier attended the IBF Antilles 3×3 Hoops Final from February 28 to March 2, 2020 in Guadeloupe. The event comprised a youth leadership and life skills workshop and a 3×3 mixed nations basketball tournament. Participants were able to learn about the IBF’s “Basketball for Good” mindset, and were encouraged to think about how basketball could be used as a tool to influence positive change in their lives and communities.
Guyana’s Timothy Richmond received the male ‘Basketball for Good’ award.
The GABF signed a five-year partnership with Genius Sports. Genius Sports will provide a digital platform, including FIBA LiveStats, FIBA Organizer, Game Center, FIBA LiveStats Widget, and access to the FIBA Statistician Network. The partnership is valued at US$182,000.
Guyana received its FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifier ticket, and the senior men’s national team is awaiting an appeal decision from the National COVID-19 Task Force to restart training in 2021. The first FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifier is schedule for 17-21 February 2021 in El Salvador.
The GABF also qualified for the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup, with the first qualifier scheduled for April 2021.
Sileena Arjune was accepted to the FIBA Americas Adelante Forum for Women in Basketball. The Women’s Forum comprises female participants from 38 national federations from the Americas. Workshops were hosted, with topics such as Youth Development by Dawn Smyth, NBA; Officials Development by Nadine Crowley, Canadian Sports Board; Women in Leadership by Cynthis Marshall, Dallas Mavericks’ CEO; Marketing your Project by Andrea Perez, VP Jordan Brand; and How to be an Effective Sports Leader by Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary General, to name a few. During the break, Sileena was placed in a cohort with colleagues from Aruba, Dominican Republic and Guatemala, with similar interest in 3×3 development.
The first virtual AGM was held with focus on implementing its new strategy, prioritising the empowerment of sub-associations, Women in Basketball, and Enlarging the GABF Family.
With 2021 being in its early phase, the GABF intends to execute all 2020 cancelled events with focus on 3×3, youth and women’s basketball. 2021 FIBA events include the FIBA Basketball World Cup Pre-Qualifiers, FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup Qualifier – CBC, FIBA 3×3 Nations League, Centrobasket U15 and U17 Championships, and the CBC U14 and U16 Championships.
Non-qualifying regional events include the Inter- Guiana Games, South American Games (3×3), Caribbean Games (3×3), and the IBF Antilles 3×3 Finals.