U19 ballers take part in jamboree

Four boys' teams and four girls' teams are taking part.

U19 basketballers hit the court on Saturday, 13 January, to tip-off their jamboree tournament, which is being played in lieu of their regular season.

In all, eight teams: four boys and four girls, are participating in the event that culminates on 20 January. Teams will play as many as six games over the course of both days with the top two advancing to the finals.

The girls’ tournament features Hoopsters Girls, WV Courage, WV Fearless and WV Spirit. The boys’ teams are Supreme Ballerz, Cincinnati, Las Tortugas, and Big Baller Boyz. Games are being played at the new John Gray High School gymnasium, which can accommodate two games at a time.

Cayman Islands Basketball Association Technical Director Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro said there was an influx of players who missed out on playing in the league this season, so the jamboree was put on to give them the opportunity to get some competition.

O’Garro said he was pleased with the turnout. “Most of the players that we are sending away are this age, so we have at least 17 players outside and we still have four teams taking place. So, that shows that we have continuous growth in the U19s.”

He said, however, that the young players need more exposure other than at the domestic level in order to continue their development.

“Based on what we are seeing here, the kids are playing locally but we need to bring people in here to play [against] them, so they can get an international feel in order to compete at that level. In order for this to go further, we have to start bringing teams now that we have this master facility,” O’Garro said.

He added that the association is looking into that possibility, as long as it gets the financing. We have Jamaica on standby, they are willing to come. We have this team from Colombia (San Andreas), who also want to come too.”

In the meantime, O’Garro said the jamboree can become a regular feature on the local basketball calendar.

Play begins at 2:00 p.m. for the girls on 20 January, with boys’ games scheduled for later in the afternoon.

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