International Basketball Academy launches Grassroots Basketball League

The INTERNATIONAL Basketball Academy Grassroots Basketball League (GYBL) comprises a total of 15 teams in four different age groups (U11, U13, U15, U18) and takes place on Saturdays at Prince Charles Park in Gleniston Gardens. Photo: Sideline Sports

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune sports journalist

[email protected]

In an effort to provide student-athletes with an opportunity to gain exposure and continue to hone their skills, the International Basketball Academy has launched a new venture with its Grassroots Basketball League.

The GYBL features a total of 15 teams across four different age groups (U11, U13, U15, U18) and takes place on Saturdays at Prince Charles Park in Gleniston Gardens.

IBA manager and Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins head coach Denycko Bowles says the league’s main beneficiaries will be the younger generation of potential players.

“The Grassroots Youth Basketball League has been a vision of mine for years. It aimed to allow children to have a more instructive game in a format where they can compete and learn the game simultaneously. When I think back to my brother who is now in Year 6 at Claridge Primary and how deprived he was, I wanted to make a change more for him and for the kids. At the primary school level, I feel like they are not getting the experience and exposure that they really and truly need. It might be all over the place, I don’t know, but from a basketball perspective, it’s behind,” he said.

“Compared to children in the United States and around the world, their games are much better simply because they get that proper structure and experience early on. Taking that into account, we can see the impact that it has had on a time our players have reached the junior and senior levels of their school careers and there is an obvious domino effect.

With school sports stalled, Bowles said the league is providing an outlet for basketball players to maintain their skills until a return to normalcy can be found amid the COVID pandemic. -19, especially those looking for scholarship opportunities.

“Keeping our student-athletes active during COVID is extremely important. When we look at the world and the sport, we see that they are moving full steam ahead. If we are to continue to be competitive, our level of activity must be such that we give our children the best chance of success. We are already disadvantaged in areas, so I think every opportunity we can provide for our children would be a bonus,” Bowles said.

“Although we are all aware of the pandemic and its ramifications, I think we can adjust and adapt to the global flow and the way the sport works around us. I think that is fair and just. These kids have dreams and goals and aspirations, so I think we shouldn’t take that away from them or cuff them, but create avenues to ensure success.

“The Bahamas is a sporting nation. Sport has been good for many of us and our ancestors. Sport is a way of life for many and has saved lives in more ways than one. We need to find a way to get back on track and enable these children to make their dreams a reality.

The GYBL is a three-tier league that will run for three non-consecutive 12-week periods during the year. The spring edition (January to April) opened last weekend and should be followed by the summer edition (April to July) and the fall edition (September to November).

“As with anything new, you tend to expect a steady increase, but more of a progression, so I think that’s key. Of course, as things stand now, we, in as a country we are still processing and finding ways to get our lives back to what we know to be comfortable.Therefore I expect the league to really and truly resume in the coming months, although “she’s really gotten a lot of interest now. Once the parents are comfortable it will be fine as the players are ready to go. There will be a definite uptick and I’m excited for what’s to come for IBA’s GYBL Needless to say, I’m sure this growth will require more help and volunteers and possibly more sites, who knows.

“Nevertheless, I am truly grateful and thankful to God for not only giving me the vision, but also allowing it to come to fruition. IBA seeks to continue building our country in and through the sport of basketball and I know that once God continues to lead, anything will be possible.The sky will definitely be the limit for IBA Bahamas.

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