Hoopsters stride for Kings’ court

Local basketball has seen great
strides this year with the development of young players. However its
fundamental program needs funding to continue into the New Year.

For the last four years the Cayman
Islands Basketball Association has held its core youth development program. The
Logic arena of Kings Sports Centre hosts the initiative twice a week on
Thursdays and Fridays 3-5pm.

Among the association’s executive
members involved in the project is Technical Director Victor “Voot” O’Garro and
national mens coach Daniel Augustine. Both have seen the program through its
infancy when it relocated from its original home at the Lions Centre. Augustine
spoke about the need to support the initiative.

“Coach Voot and I have been working
with the core group of youth basketball players for the past four years,”
Augustine said. “We’ve been stationed at Kings due to the aftermath of
hurricane Ivan. We have worked with guys such as Raheem (Robinson), Jamaal (Miller),
Tikko (Moore) and Brandon (Glasgow) who are the backbone when it comes to youth
basketball in the Cayman Islands.

“The reason for this is getting
those young men to stay committed and work hard to achieve their goals. Further
adding to this effort, we would like try and raise funds for the program. The
main objective is to provide incentives and try to get program T-shirts and
training vest for when travelling and for practices.”

The biggest products of the
endeavour have been Moore and Glasgow. Both are currently away to Santa Clarita
Christian High School in California on basketball scholarships for the next two
years. The scholarships are set to cover the roughly US$6,500 yearly tuition.

Recently O’Garro stated that they
represent the positives of the Kings program.

“I’m excited with the level of
basketball in Cayman,” O’Garro said. “Since playing indoors the game has grown
by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow. We saw a rejuvenated growth on
and off the court in terms of player and spectator participation.

“A lot of young players in school
abroad or leaving for school came from the programs that are played at those
(indoor) facilities. For example Tikko and Brandon came through the Kings
programme, which is our beginner’s course. I’d say it has become the core of
our youth program as it grooms the players, especially those in the Under 14
and Under 16 age groups.”

Robinson and Miller are currently
involved in the Appleby Under 19 League and have been stars in youth basketball
for some time. Robinson claimed an U19 title last year while Miller nabbed the
U16 league championship this summer. Augustine states the duo are among the
kids who get to travel in the Kings program and see the potential of basketball
as a way of self-improvement.

“The group trains all year round
once they are in the school semester. We also travel to a camp at Eckerd
college every year where the children get the opportunity to use what they were
taught. A strong notion of education and basketball going hand in hand is
presented and they learn it is a must that their grades stay up to progress in
the sport.”

To make donations to the program
call Daniel Augustine at 938-0185 or Victor O’Garro at 916-5083.

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