As local basketball gets more international recognition, Cayman officials say these shores are primed to host elite players.
Ian Yearwood serves as the president of the Cayman Basketball Officials Association and helped staged last month’s Fédération Internationale de Basketball Americas Referee Clinic. Yearwood would gain his commissioner license and subsequently be selected as match commissioner for the CentroBasket Women’s Championships in Monterrey, Mexico on July 22-26. Yearwood said the result is Cayman has the personnel to stage major tournaments.
“I was nominated by Geraldo Fontana, the FIBA Americas head of referees, who came down and did the clinic here,” Yearwood said. “I feel honored and very good about it. As the match commissioner, I’ll be responsible for the game on a whole, not the officiating, for areas like the running of the (statistics) table. If the refs can’t decide on a call they can come to me but I’ll be required to manage the game. I have to make sure players are qualified to play, the equipment is good, the court is ready and any disciplinary action gets reported.
“We’re certainly capable of hosting, we have the refs and officials here. When it comes to technical staff, we have the people in place. The only thing holding us back is our venues, a place to call home, but that’s in the pipeline. But we’re certainly set to host international tournaments. We’ve got internationally accredited refs and officials, the players are getting the exposure out there and the game can only go one way and that’s up. The game is moving in the right direction as the knowledge of the players and officials is increasing.”
Aside from Yearwood, four other Caymanian officials would get FIBA licenses. Antonio Hanna earned the commissioner title with Greg Hamilton, Bobeth O’Garro and Dwight O’Garro gaining recertification as referees. Hamilton (executive board member) and Bobeth (secretary) also serve alongside Yearwood in the local referee group, along with Ellen Downey (treasurer) and Angela O’Garro (executive board member). Yearwood says Hamilton will see international action soon.
“Greg is going to the British Virgin Islands for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships in Tortola. He’ll do the men’s tournament on July 1-5 and the women’s tournament on July 8-12. All of this comes before the CBC Under-16 Championships in August, when Cayman will be sending a boys team to compete – the same team under coach Daniel Augustine that beat San Andres over Easter.”