JABA inks deal with Italy-based sports company
THE Jamaica Basketball Association (JABA) inked a deal with Italy-based Stella Azzura Basketball Academy yesterday. The agreement is aimed at developing and strengthening all aspects of youth basketball on the island and will include an exchange programme between both countries.
Avshalom Filler, technical director at the Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy, believes the monumental move could provide rich rewards for youth programmes in both Jamaica and Italy.
“For us it means the world to get the opportunity to expose basketball worldwide, in general. Here in Jamaica, it’s a huge opportunity and we are looking forward to actually kick-start this joint venture. We have a lot of work to do together to fulfil our mutual goal. Since we all acknowledge the great potential here in Jamaica, we truly believe that we can contribute and support your programmes with our knowledge and experience,” said Filler.
Among the invited guests at yesterday’s signing at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel was State Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Alando Terrelonge. The state minister said the agreement between Stella Azzurra and JABA was historic as it gives local talent an opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage.
“As a part of the government, the primary goal of development is recognising the talent of our Jamaican youth and the different opportunities that they can get from partnerships such as these. This is a strategic partnership that is historic and what this means it that more of our young people will get opportunities to play the sport of basketball on the international stage. Also, what it means for our coaches is that they will be a part of the training exchange programme,” said Terrelonge.
Head of JABA, Paulton Gordon, who was beaming with joy, says the deal will provide much-needed exposure for the nation’s youth basketballers.
“It’s important for us to have strategic partnerships and alliances, that’s the only way I think we can grow basketball,” Gordon said.
“The partnerships will provide important exposure and it will also ensure that we reach a broader cross section of youngsters who are interested in basketball.
“A lot of youngsters who were introduced to basketball were introduced at the high school level. What we want to do is change that. Partnerships such as these will help us expand and basically get us to where to want to be. Stella Azzurra has the facilities and I think they have three or four training courts, plus outdoor courts. It’s all there, so it provides an opportunity for some of our youngsters to be exposed to that,” added Gordon.
Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda also spoke at yesterday’s signing of the partnership agreement between JABA and Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy.