A delegation of high school students under the age of fifteen is heading to Mexico City on Saturday where they will represent the Jewel in an Under Fifteen basketball tournament. All bets are on Belize’s Under Fifteen National Basketball Team to excel in the weeklong games that would then advance the local boys to another round of games on the court in Cancun. You will recall that a decision had been made to invest in a younger crop of athletes to represent Belize in the COCABA Championship Tournament as well as the FIBA games. According to assistant coach, Fred Garcia, despite limited resources, his players have come a long way to be able to participate in the summer games.
Fred Garcia, Assistant Coach, U-15 Basketball Program
“It’s been a long process actually it’s the second phase to the Central American tournament they had a year ago. And now it is Centro basket. It should be held in Mexico City. It should be a five day event. We are hoping that we will qualify out of that which will propel us a week time after to Cancun to the FIBA America Tournament. So we are looking forward to some good things and that’s where we’re at at this time.”
“In terms of the preparations, I know these guys have a pretty stiff workout regiment and what have you. How are they shaping up in terms of preparing themselves to go abroad to representing Belize?”
“Well they’ve responded well to what we’ve put out. We still haven’t turned the screws the way we want to. A big part of it is logistics; one, the civic; two. We have a lot kids still in school this time of year. We have some kids in the district who won’t participate because they have school as well. So really for us it’s kinda troublesome, but those that are here have really participated well, have taken in. We believe they are ready to go, in fact, I think eight of these kids just came back from the U-17 which they qualified for Puerto Rico in about two months time, in August. So I think we’ll be fine.”