Trials net many young dribblers

Cayman basketball is pushing to bring back silverware this summer in a pair of competitions. Based on the state of the tryout process for the national men’s team, things are moving in the right direction.

Heading into this week some 17 men are taking part in the selection process. Originally 25 signed up for twice weekly training sessions with national men’s coach Daniel Augustine. A coach in the national men’s league and Kings Sports Centre developmental programme, Augustine states tryouts have been interesting.

“We started back this week with 17 guys,” Augustine said. “Mondays and Wednesdays we’re out at Truman Bodden Sports Complex 7-9pm. We’re doing two types of training with track work first and court drills after. I’m looking for everyone to be in proper condition and it’s a requirement for players. I can coach them a lot better with that and I’m trying to get the most physically out of the athletes.

“As far as the selection process goes it did it on its own. It broke down to the amount we have now. Guys signed up but didn’t show up. It’s shocking as I expected more. But it is what it is. I hope the guys continue for the months ahead of June.”

Open registration started in mid-December. A meeting to announce the national team was slated to take place at the end of January. The tryouts come ahead of the Island Games and the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Senior Championships taking place this summer. Though Augustine may be disappointed with the amount of players, he is good with the talent of players involved. Many are notable names in the sport and have excelled in the national men’s league.

“Guys like Chad Leslie, Rotando Thompson and Will Peguero Jr. have practiced and done tryouts before. There are also a few younger players like Kadane Hall, Brandon Glasgow and Patrick Barnes. My assistant coaches Redver Ebanks and Jonathan Powery and I all want their abilities to be at the maximum. They are trying to get to a certain skill level and it helps with their development in basketball.

“Looking for them to develop is first and foremost for the team. They can hone their skills while practicing in these tryouts.”

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