Several leagues and clinics are under way in this year’s basketball season, and the Cayman Islands Basketball Association is inviting interested players to come shoot some hoops.
“Whether a veteran or beginner, young or seasoned, female or male, all are more than welcome to come out and participate,” the association stated in a press release.
Organizers say the Cayman Islands Basketball Association provides “a fun, safe environment to engage in the sport of basketball, learn about teamwork and commitment as well as gain local and international recognition.”
Young players get a chance to play overseas at the high school and/or collegiate level. To date, more than a dozen male and female players from Cayman have continued their education overseas through participation in CIBA programs and leagues, which are sponsored by local firms.
For example, the PwC Basketball Under-16 Boys and Girls Leagues have been running for several years, while KPMG sponsors the KPMG Basketball Under-14 Boys and Girls Leagues.
“Amongst many other benefits, these sponsorships allow proper statistical record-keeping, along with the opportunity to play games indoors, crucial for player development,” the CIBA stated.
Craig Smith, a partner at PwC, said, CIBA provides a positive outlet for the youth of the Cayman Islands “and encourages the kids to stay active, develop their talents and provides local and overseas opportunities, which in turn forms a strong foundation for success in the future.
“We also recognize the individuals who are vital to running the league efficiently by volunteering their time and efforts to ensure the season is a successful one,” he added.
Andrew Stepaniuk, partner at KPMG in the Cayman Islands, said the company continued to support the Under-14 Basketball program because “we see the value and benefits over the years that the students receive from participating, thanks to Coach Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro and his colleagues.
“We have seen the success of some of the participants continuing abroad and we look forward to the future success of other students in the program.”
Leagues and clinics
The Men’s League, which ends in May, is held on Sundays at Clifton Hunter High School, and Thursdays at the ARC at Camana Bay or the CIBA court on Eastern Avenue.
The Women’s League is expected to begin this month, with a date and location to be announced.
The PwC Basketball Under-16 League (Boys and Girls) began on April 1 and concludes on June 3. Games are held at the Clifton Hunter High School on Saturdays, with the girls playing at 4-6 p.m. and the boys at 6-8 p.m.
The KPMG Basketball Under-14 League (Boys and Girls), began at the end of March and ends on May 11. The boys games are held at 3:15 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at various venues, while the girls games are held at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at various venues.
The Fix-It Celltronics Primary School League (Boys and Girls) has already ended, with Prospect Primary School emerging victorious in the Boys League after a dramatic comeback. They played Truth for Youth School, a powerhouse team that has won multiple titles and makes it to the finals most years.
In the Fix-It Celltronics Primary School Girls League, Savannah Primary took on defending champions Truth for Youth School and won.
Young players who want to learn more about the game or just get started can take part in academy clinics every Saturday.
The clinics are open to players between the ages of 7 and 16 and are held year round every Saturday, in conjunction with school terms, at the First Baptist Church, across from the Lions Centre. Clinics for players ages 7-9 are held 9-10 a.m.; for players ages 10-12 at 10-11:15 a.m.; and for 13-16 year olds from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
For more information about how to get involved in basketball locally, contact Michael Diamond at 916-2430 or Coach Voot at 916-5083, or visit www.caymanbasketball.com.