Youngsters soar to CentroBasket

Cayman youth basketball hopes to make waves in the region this month.

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association will be sending both an Under-15 boys and girls national team to participate in the CentroBasket Championships. Mexico City, Mexico will host the female segment on 15-19 August with the boys heading to San Salvador, El Salvador on 23-31 August.

Latasha Nixon is the team manager for the ladies and states it is a first for local hoops.

“This is the first that our country will be represented in this age group and we would like to highlight this milestone in Cayman basketball,” Nixon said.

“CentroBasket is a International Basketball Federation (FIBA)-sponsored basketball tournament where national teams from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean participate. These countries make up the Central American and Caribbean Confederation. The top three or four teams typically earn berths to the FIBA America Championships, from which they can qualify for the FIBA World Championships or Olympics.”

Initially, Cayman’s U15 squads were slated to take part in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation U15 Youth Championships. El Salvador and Puerto Rico were slated to serve as hosts but the confederation has not decided on official dates and venues for that competition. Interestingly, Puerto Rico will host the FIBA Americas U18 Womens Championship in Gurabo on 15-19 August.

Nixon, the mother of U15 team member and star prodigy La-Torae Nixon, 14, is one of many team officials. Angela O’Garro is expected to be team manager for the boys alongside head coach Duran ‘Trini’ Whittaker. Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro, Angela’s husband and the technical director for Cayman basketball, serves as the girls head coach.

The national teams figure to be a collection of notable local talents, such as Chloe Powery, Justin Collins and Arin Taylor, that have excelled in competitions such as the U14, U16 and U19 basketball leagues.

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