The Bahamas tips off with USVI today
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Aug 14, 2013
Members of The Bahamas’ under-17 boys’ national basketball team will hit the ‘hardwood’ today, hoping to net their first win at the Centrobasket Under-17 Championships currently underway in Puerto Rico.
The Bahamas will play the U.S. Virgin Islands today in the first match-up for teams competing in Group A. Other countries playing in Group A are host Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. In Group B, Mexico, British Virgin Islands, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic will compete for the top spot. The top two teams from each grouping will move onto the medal rounds, with medalists advancing to the 2014 FIBA Americas Championships, otherwise known as the Tournament of the Americas.
The tournament will run August 14-18. The Bahamas is scheduled to play Costa Rica on Thursday and host country Puerto Rico on Friday. The semifinal rounds will start on Friday. Head coach for the team is Kevin ‘KJ’ Johnson who will be assisted by Mark Hanna, Francis Delva and Darell Sears.
“This team is a special team where we have a good group of disciplined young men,” said Hanna before heading off to Puerto Rico. “This year, the ultimate goal is to beat Puerto Rico and to bring the gold back to The Bahamas.”
The 12-member team includes Jordan Wilson, Onan Roberts, Rashad Russell, Calvin Anderson, Sebastian Gray, Charles Bain, Qyemah Gibson, Oatman Lightbourne, D’Varj Smith, Shakwon Lewis and Dontae Thompson.
The under-17 girls national basketball team is expected to participate in the Centrobasket Under-17 Championships for girls in San Salvador, El Salvador, August 28-September 1. The official draw for the tournament was held yesterday. The eight teams were divided into two groups, The Bahamas will play in Group B with Mexico, USVI and host San Salvador, El Salvador. Over in Group A are Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Honduras. The tournament’s set-up is pretty much like the boys where the top four teams from the round-robin play will advance to the semifinal, and the three medalists moving onto the Tournament of Americas.
The Bahamas’ junior girls have never been able to qualify for the Tournament of Americas. As for the boys, a team recently returned from the championships, marking the third time a junior squad has represented the country. Annastacia Sands-Moultrie, one of the coaches for the girls’ team is confident that they will be among the top three. She said this year’s squad continues to work hard and the members are very dedicated. The official team members will be announced early next week.