By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IN preparation for their basketball tournament that will start today at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium, the New Providence Publics Primary School Sports Association hosted a two-day certification course.
All 25 of the physical education teachers who participated passed the course, which was held under the auspices of the Bahamas Basketball Federation in their effort to jump start the mini-basketball programme in the country.
“An integral part of mini basketball is not just coaching strategies, but also knowing the rules of mini basketball as they are modified from the official basketball rules to allow the kids to have fun and to develop their basketball skills.”
“While teaching them the rules of the game, we were also impressing upon them, the modification of isolation and adaptation that they used to introduce them into their games as these rules are specific for mini basketball, ages 12-and-under.”
During the sessions, Wilmore said they would have taken the coaches through the basic rules from the start of the game to the finish and hopefully they will be in a better position to officiate their own games, if necessary.
Freddie Brown, the second vice president of the referees’ association, led the theoretical aspects of the session and Yves Pierre joined in with a session on coaching strategies as it relates to mini basketball.
“Moving forward, we wish to see this implemented in all games,” he added.
Association president Latoya Bain-Sturrup said they were thrilled to get in the sessions before they start the basketball tournament that is being held in memory of the late coach Sherman Smith. “We made history in the Bahamas, The NPPPSSA were the first to have team coaches getting certified to participate in mini basketball. “The coaches are excited after this intense level of training that we got.”
While Wilmore, the youngest Bahamian referee to receive his international certification, closed out the two day session on Saturday at Claridge Primary School, Bain-Sturrup said they couldn’t ask for anything more than they got from the certification courses.
The NPPPSSA used the two-day certification course to get them prepared for the tournament, at least two of the coaches were more than pleased with the knowledge they gained from the presenters.
Eva Hilton Primary’s coach Tito Hanna, said he got a whole lot of information that he hopes to implement with his team.
“Mr Wilmore was very precise and we certainly benefited from all that he and the other presenters imparted to them,” Hanna said. “I look forward to having some good, clean fun when the tournament is played. I hope that they will get to develop their skills, while I get to sharpen up my skills as a coach.”
Janice Rodgers, a PE teacher at Carlton E Francis Primary, found it to be more than informative. “Basketball is not one of my strongest sports, so he simplified it so well that I feel like any young child could have understood and benefit from it. So I enjoyed it very much.”
As the tournament gets underway, Rodgers said she’s looking to get as much knowledge as possible. “I want to see how much I can remember and implementing them,” said Rodgers, adding that Carlton E. Francis should have a very competitive team in the tournament.
When the tournament kicks off at 9am today at the Kendal Issacs Gymnasium, only the 13 teams will compete in the girls division through Tuesday. The 23 boys teams will be in action on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, the playoffs and championship games in the two divisions will be contested. During the tournament, members of the Ministry of Health will be on hand to provide some healthy tips for the players. The NPPPSSA will also honour Smith, who coached at Carlton E Francis before he passed away in 2020 as one of the first persons, who reportedly contracted COVID-19.
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