December 05, 2013
Another avenue has just been created for local basketball players aspiring to play on the professional level.
A partnership with the American Basketball League (ABL), Capital City Marketing and the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) is being described as a "marriage made in heaven", something long overdue in the country for talented players who are usually overlooked or never get any exposure.
Eligible basketball players are encouraged to sign up for the first professional league camp to be held at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, January 11, 2014. The camp is designed to assist with a selection process, as the top 40 players will compete in a division for the chance of securing a contract with a professional based team in Europe, South America or North America.
ABL Commissioner Eric Newsome said the league recently extended its services to Bahamian basketball players, after seeing the talent level of many who have stepped on the court.
"The concept was derived about two years ago," said Newsome. "What we wanted to do was develop an avenue for basketball players who have played in high school at a certain level and college at a certain level. We wanted to give them an avenue to extend their playing career. As you may, or may not know, there are only 500 jobs in the National Basketball Association (NBA). If you look overseas you have probably 5,000 jobs. We do have a lot of contacts over in Europe and South America and we feel like most of the guys who would like to continue their playing careers would have better opportunities overseas."
According to Newsome, last season there were six registered teams in Florida and six teams in the Texas area. He said the ABL executives see The Bahamas as a natural spot to extend its program.
He added: "In professional basketball the only thing between a basketball player and a contract is exposure and opportunity, that is what this league is all about. We feel like we have the necessary persons involved to give the guys a chance to realize and further their dreams. We know that everyone who plays over here will not receive a look or a contract, but we can offer the ABL as an employment agency and to get that pipeline going. I know first-hand that there is excellent talent here."
The Draft Camp will identify some of the top players in the country. All prospects must enter camp to be eligible for the draft. The ABL Draft will be held in April, 2014. Each team selects four players with the other six joining through free agency. Four teams will play in the division here in The Bahamas.
The first camp will run 4 p.m.- 9 p.m on January 11, 2014.
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