JBA wants lasting legacy from Jamaica Classic
President of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), Paulton Gordon, said the local basketball fraternity has taken new measures to ensure that the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic, one of the top College Basketball preseason tournaments, leaves a lasting impact on the sport locally, when its seven year tenure comes to an end.
The third staging of the event is set for November 22-24 at the Montego Bay Conference Centre and Gordon said that local coaches will have an opportunity this year to shadow their American counterparts in order to have a better understanding of the game.
“We have been in contact with the organisers and we are trying to put things in place so that there is some legacy after the six or seven years of the Jamaica Classic,” Gordon said. “We asked for our local coaches to be integrated with the teams when they arrive so that they can watch practice games, they can see how they structure their sessions and they (the organisers) have agreed on that.”
He continued: “We have also proposed that we want our local officials to be shadowing the NCAA officials who will be officiating the games when they come so that they can have a better understanding of what it is to conduct a game at that level because we are really trying to improve all aspects of our basketball.”
As was the case in the two previous years, some of the best players locally will get to take part in a clinic on the rest day of the tournament, November 23, but Gordon is also pushing for coaches and officials to take part in the sessions as well.
“We will be pushing for them to have clinics as well for the officials and the coaches because we are really trying to develop the overall basketball programme here,” Gordon said. “We are also in discussion with some of the schools in order to get some gear for high schools here.”
This year, the tournament will be headlined by Louisiana State University, which made it to the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last year. The other colleges include: Utah State, University of Maryland Baltimore, North Texas, Rhode Island, and North Carolina A&T.