As we told you last night, the Belize Basketball Federation scored a slam dunk over the world’s governing body for Basketball FIBA in Lausanne, Swtizerland. That court found that according to Belize’s constitution, the players on Belize’s national team who were born in the United States to Belizean parents were considered Belizean citizens at birth and therefore entitled to play on Belize’s national team.

So what’s next for that national team? Well, the judgment from the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirms that Belize’s second place finish at the COCABA championship stands – so the national team now moves on to the Centro-Basket championship to be played in the Dominican Republic in July – which is the farthest Belize has ever advanced.

President of the BBF Paul Thompson told us they are pleased with the victory but the next step is a big one:


Paul Thompson, President of the BBF
“We are extremely elated by the verdict from CAS. We feel vindicated on one hand. On the other hand, it appears that you’ve gotten something but its something that we’ve had all along.”

Jules Vasquez, Reporting, ”This is where the work begins?”

Paul Thompson, President of the BBF
“Yes, as Marlon Garnett told me last night, the work has just begun. It’s a lot of work for the Executive. First of all, we have to re-engage our national team program. The Secretary General mentioned earlier in the press conference that we have to engage fundraising and, in these economic times, that’s going to be challenging. But, however, we feel that we stand an excellent chance in terms of qualifying for the next round so that gives us motivation to carry on.”

The qualifying teams from Centro-Basket will then play in the FIBA Americas tournament against powerhouses such as Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

Channel 7