July 23, 2011
Bahamian basketball officials were given a to do list that needs to be completed before the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships (CBC) tip off today. Inspectors from the International Basketball Federation of Americas (FIBA Americas) expect all the wiring for the game and shot clocks, as well as the lights in the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium to be working.
The court lines must be drawn and marked out to international standards with four locker rooms in full operation. President of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) Lawrence Hepburn confirmed that technical persons were assigned to deal with the issues they now face and that everything will be in order before the tournament officially opens. The CBC for men will start at 1 p.m.
Hepburn said: "The inspectors were in this morning from FIBA America. They have instructed us on certain things that need to be brought up to international standards. Right now, we are trying to complete the list. But we are doing some general cleaning on the bleachers and floors. We are putting down markers and as fast as we put them down they are being erased or
"We knew it would happen and it is happening, so it is really slowing us down. We told them (ministry officials) that it is going to happen and create chaos. Now what is going to take place is many things are going to be left undone. We didn't expect for this to happen and our guests to see.
"We need four locker rooms for this championship. We are having to clear out some of the things out of the offices that are basically storage rooms. We are having to ask them to move the things today because we want to be set up by tomorrow. We are still moving equipment and old rubbish from these rooms to try (to) access and create additional (space)."
Apart from the gym's preparation challenges, the federation has now found itself in a little financial hole. The estimated cost for hosting the two tournaments is more than $300,000. Rendering some assistance was Royal Bank of Canada. A grateful Hepburn encouraged other corporate companies to come forward and that no contribution is too small. The BBF is preparing for the CBC for women, which is set for August 3-7 in New Providence.
"Other than that, financially, we still have outstanding debts," said Hepburn. "Money is trickling in really slowly and the expenses are accelerating. We have the people here, that is expenditures because they are moving back and forth but yet the tournament has not started. So we have the teams and delegates in place and everything is taking shape.
"Some sponsors are beginning to think that it is too late to get on board but that is not the case. What we had anticipated with some sponsors, those didn't materialize. That is what happens in these situations, people have the best intentions but due to their circumstances they are unable to follow through. But at the moment, we are asking the general public to come out and give their support by attending the games. That will assist us with hosting the ladies' tournament.
"At this tournament some fine basketball games and players will be competing. I watched the teams practice this morning and they look good. They are comparable and in some cases bigger than us. The talent is there for The Bahamas' team who is defending home court. The challenge to them is to win this competition like we have done in the past." Tickets are now on sale at $7 and $3. The BBF has certain special packages available. Enquires can be made at the main office
inside the national gymnasium.
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