Voot seeks squad

Cayman youth basketball has its sights on a regional competition.

Technical Director for Cayman Basketball Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro is currently recruiting players for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Under-15 Youth Championships. The event is slated to take place this summer in Puerto Rico.

O’Garro states this is the first time Cayman will field a national U15 side.

“We’re taking two Cayman teams to Puerto Rico for the CBC tournament in June or July,” O’Garro said. “Puerto Rico decided to host the tournament in case another Caribbean country could not host.

“This is the first time the CBC is having a tournament at this age group. We can have players ready for that competition for years. We have a decent crop of players.”

The CBC is affiliated to the International Basketball Federation. Technically, it is under the Central American and Caribbean Basketball Zone Commission, which is a sub-zone of the FIBA Americas zone. Cayman is one of 24 member countries, which include regional neighbours like Jamaica, Barbados and Cuba.

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association has a number of youth initiatives happening. The U14 league, sponsored by KPMG, came to an end this month. Arin Taylor and Guiesha Smith were among the star talents. The annual U16 competition, which is usually sponsored by PWC and features starlets like La-Torae Nixon, is ongoing.

O’Garro states he is actively seeking undiscovered talent.

“The goal is to prepare. It’s a qualifier for a world championship. Every two years there is a tournament for qualifying teams and every four years a major tournament. The idea is teams go from the qualifiers to Centrobasket where they face the top teams from Latin America and so on before advancing to the top event.

“We have selected coaches. I will be head coach of the girls team and Trini (Duran Whittaker) will coach the boys. We’re inviting all boys and girls born 1 January 1997 or later to training.”

For more information, call Victor O’Garro at 916-5083.