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#404897 - 04/13/11 10:04 AM Belize skips regional basketball tourney
Marty Offline

In August 2009 Team Belize got a taste of victory despite placing second in the COCABA Championship held in Cancun, Mexico. The team then proceeded to the Centro Basket Tournament in the Dominican Republic a year later where it played its heart out against formidable opponents including Team Venezuela. But Belize was eventually eliminated from the basketball games. And while another COCABA tournament is scheduled for the end of April there is disappointing news coming out of the Belize Basketball Federation this evening. In a press release issued today the organization stated that Belize will not be represented at the COCABA games. According to the BBF the monies it would have spent investing in the menís national team will instead be used to develop younger athletes for the under-fourteen through under-seventeen games to be held in Costa Rica in May.

Channel 5

#404901 - 04/13/11 10:09 AM Re: Belize skips regional basketball tourney [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Basketball Federation Changes Focus

In August of 2009, Belizeans were throwing all their support behind the men's senior national basketball team as they won a silver at the COCABA championship in Cancun. That led to Centro Basket last year in which the Belize team failed to qualify for the next round. And with that, the Basketball Federation has decided to re-focus its energies on building its youth programme - the under 14, under 16, and under 17. So, Belize will not participate in the upcoming COCABA championship games for men being held at the end of this month. The next big tournament then is the under 17 COCABA Championship games in Costa Rica in late May. A press release will be held tomorrow to further explain the new direction.

Channel 7

#405030 - 04/14/11 09:29 AM Re: Belize skips regional basketball tourney [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Basketball Federation Focuses On Youth

Last year August in CANCUN, that city came alive when the Belizean drums arrived to cheer on our men's national basketball team.

Team Belize with Milton Palacio, Marlon Garnett and Alex Carcamo earned silver and the respect of the entire region.

But that feel good moment is passed and now the Belize Basketball Federation says it won't go to COCABA this year. President Paul Thompson told us why:

Paul Thompson, President of Belize Basketball Federation
"We will fore-go the men's COCABA Championships this year because we want to focus on our younger categories of national teams. We believe this direction to develope and build our younger players is a direction that the Federation wants to go. Financing the Men's National Team is a monumental task; we're talking about anywhere over a $100,000 whenever you move for the Men's National Team. We've spent, I would say, close to a half-a-million dollars since 2009 and 2010 on the Men's National Team. Now that's a lot of money, and what we get is a week; we feel good about it and then things move on. At this time, we believe that those funds will be best used for developing our young players and trying to go to the direction where we have the formula of more home-grown than our international-based players."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you think that it was a misguided choice to have persued that at such great costs?"

Paul Thompson
"At that moment, we thought that it was the best route to go."

Jules Vasquez
"However if you look at it, you spent half-a-million dollars, and we don't have a decent basketball court."

Paul Thompson
"Well this is true, and we would hope that we hear news of the Civic Center being retro-fitted through the Mexican Government. We are hopeful of that. Prior to making this decision, I personally spoke to Milton Palacio, who said that he thinks that he made his run, and he won't be continuing, so that the decision. He know about it; he knew that this would have been his decision from a long time."

Jules Vasquez
"Obviously the elation associated with the COCABA performance in August of 2009, was a shot in the arm for basketball in this country. Was it a hard choice to say, 'Okay, scrap that. Let's look at something more fundamental, more long-term'?"

Paul Thompson
"Not at all, the run that we made in 2009 - I thought we made a good run - it was an easy decision for us in the federation and in talking to the member association representatives because, starting out in our strategic plan, the focus is on developing. We believe that we have the talent here. This is a long term decision, and we see that this is the only way that we can reach where we want to reach. We want to have an impact here at home; we know the situation and we don't have to explain what is going on in our city."

During the Federation's current executive tenure, Belize has earned silver at COCABA in the men's and under 15 competitions.

And proof of that building from the youths up will be on proud display this weekend when the national tournament for the under 15 and under 17 tournaments are played in Orange Walk Town.

Over 70 teams nationally participated in the Telemedia National u 15 and u - 17 tournament.

Channel 7


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