Tournaments Would Increase Quality Of Play
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association
November 06, 2011
On the heals of a call by Former Antiguan Administrator Fitzroy Brann, former St.Kitts Amatuer Basketball Association Vice President and current Club Manager of the local multi-time SKABA Champions Ghetto Roots, Wallis Wilkin is also adding to Brann’s call for the revival of sub-regional tournaments particularly the Leeward Islands Basketball Association tournament or LIBA as well as the OECS National and Club Championships .
“The dormancy of both the LIBA Tournament as well as the OECS Club Championships has left a huge void in sub-regional basketball and has resulted in the decline of the standard of basketball in the sub-region,” said Wilkin
Brann told an Antigua media outlet that he gives Antiguan basketball at this time a failing grade. He attributed much of the failure of Antiguan Basketball to the absence of a sub-regional tournament as well as a sub-regional and local youth programmes and tournaments. Their has not been a sub-regional youth tournament since 2003 with the LIBA youth tournament.
Both Bran and Wilkin agree that the standard of basketball in both islands and the sub-regiona will be greatly enhanced by the resurrection of the LIBA .
“St.Kitts has not had a national team since 2006 . Other islands including Anguilla, St.Maarten, Monsterrat I am certain have not had national teams in some time either. Antigua has taken part in CBC for the last few years but they have not been performing well and even the coach of the team Adonis Henry said in an interview that he feels one of the problems facing Antigua basketball is the lack of sub-regional tournaments,” Wilkin continued
The LIBA Tournament was a fixture on the sports calendar of the region during the mid 80’s right up to 2000 when the last LIBA tournament was held in which St.Kitts defeated the BVI to win their 2nd straight LIBA title. During that time period was also the popular OECS Club Championships which saw very memorable match-ups and rivalries between teams like Antigua’s Skillville, St.Kitts Hitters and Grenada’s Sisson Sparklers .
“The closest thing we have had to a sub-regional tournament in the last 7 years was the SKABA organized and hosted Caribbean Basketball Club Invitational which I was fortunate to have led the organizing committee of that tourney which saw 8 Champions club teams from Antigua, Trinidad, Dominica, St.Kitts, St.Maarten and Grenada . The St.Kitts Fig Tree Revellers won that tournament by beating Antigua’s Defense Force Warriors in the finals. Every year since that tournament teams, players and regional associations have been asking for another such tournament as they obviously see the need for more sub-regional basketball,” said Wilkin
The St.Kitts Amateur Basketball Association has recently announced their intentions to actively pursue and or support any efforts to either revive the LIBA tournament or initiate a tournament which is very similar that would feature the top national teams from the sub-region.
SKABA will this weekend be hosting the Dominica National Team who will be engaging a number of local teams including the the St.Kitts-Nevis All Star team which they will face on Sunday November 13th.