SAINT Lucia’s two 3×3 male and female basketball teams returned to the island earlier this week after participating in the 2018 IBF Antilles Youth 3×3 Hoops finals in Georgetown, Guyana.
The Saint Lucia women finished 3rd to capture the bronze medal, while the men team had to settle for 5th place after having finished eight last year.
The two teams were sponsored by KFC/Real Foods Saint Lucia.
On the court, Saint Lucia women’s team defeated Antigua and Barbuda in the quarter final round giving the Antiguans their first defeat in the event 7-6 after being undefeated in the preliminaries and proceeded to the semifinal to face Barbados.
The Saint Lucia ladies who earlier faced Barbados in the preliminary round lost 10-4; the girls from Fair Helen were determined to win in the semifinal and went all out, however they fell short and lost 9-7.
The males were defeated by 1 point (7-6) in their quarterfinal matchup against Guyana and unfortunately did not make it to the semifinal despite being looked at as one of the teams to potentially make it to the finals.
Having qualified for the event, Saint Lucia was amongst the 14 teams from nine countries who participated in a mandatory leadership workshop and the tournament over a three day period. The event was organized to help develop, promote and increase participation of basketball within National Federations in the Lesser Antilles, giving opportunities to these countries with tremendous potential and who do not often have the chance to travel to play basketball.
According to Saint Lucia Basketball Federation President, Leslie Collymore, The tournament was hosted by the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation. This year’s tournament was held indoor and each group consisted of seven teams. Dominica unfortunately, though qualified, did not make it to the event. Team Barbados male and female teams won their respective categories with both teams beating Martinique in the Finals.
Collymore said, “Both teams played extremely well and impressively throughout the tournament. The Saint Lucia Basketball Federation is proud of these young men and women who participated in the IBF Hoops Finals for their drive and efforts this past weekend. Male team this year performed much better landing them fifth place overall and passed the first round, than they did in 2017 when the team finished eighth and the females holding onto a spot in the final top three.
“Saint Lucia did not come home with the 1st place trophies. However; we came home with a champion. Jean Pierre Frederick who participated in the Dunk Contest won with 2 impressive and remarkable dunks scoring a total of 50 for the first and 48 for the second”.
The Leadership Workshop was held over three days alongside the 3×3 tournament. The workshop, delivered by UK Charity, The Change Foundation, helped the players discover their leadership style and develop their leadership skills to empower them to use basketball for the good in their communities.
The three days were inclusive of interactive basketball drills, leadership activities and discussions and using them to create social change.
The players were able to interact with one another as peers and develop new relationships as team mates even though they were opponents on court. They practiced public speaking skills, the art of negotiation and influencing as well as understanding the importance of strategy, decision making and inclusion in becoming a true leader.
The SLBF President took time out to thank KFC for their continued support of the development of these young athletes and the sport of basketball.
He said, “The future of the sport is highly dependent on collaborations and partnerships and we do hope that the athletes recognize that their dedication and growth will only lead to more opportunities which would benefit their professional and personal growth”.
“Special thanks to their coaches Ron Du Murville and Germaine Thomas for encouraging these young men and women and preparing them not only for this tournament but working with them continuously in developing their skills in the sport of basketball”. Collymore noted.