NBL restart fuelled by new sponsorships
AS TOP-FLIGHT basketball returns to Jamaica following a three-year hiatus from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic Paulton Gordon, president of the Jamaica Basketball Association, announced new sponsorships and a June 17 tip-off.
Speaking at the launch of the 2023 NBL season yesterday at the offices of the Social Development Fund (SDF), Gordon revealed that four sponsors – the Social Development Fund, LASCO, Gatorade, and the Phoenix Health Complex and Vision Centre – were now on board.
The SDF, Gordon said, committed $4 million, Phoenix Health Complex and Vision Centre pledged $1 million, and LASCO and Gatorade donated $650,000 each.
The tournament was set to start later this week, Gordon explaining that the date was pushed back to finalise details with the sponsors.
“Some of the sponsors expressed their interest in coming on board, so we were trying to tie up some details in terms of the partnerships, and we didn’t want to launch and leave out the full slate of partners, so that would have delayed the start for a couple of weeks,” said Gordon.
The 10-team tournament will see 107 games being played. Wayne Dawkins, newly appointed technical director of the under-17 national programme, was also pleased to see the resumption of top-flight basketball in Jamaica.
“I think it’s so important that basketball is being played and at a high level, and the energy in and around the game is high. The other sports have so much energy around them and you can’t ignore that when you come to Jamaica you can’t ignore track and field, but I think something like the NBL and the impact it will have on the whole island will create the type of energy that we need for all of our basketball projects,” said Dawkins.
2023 NBL TEAMS
St George’s Slayers, UWI Runnin’ Rebels, Urban Knights, Rae Town Raptors, Upper Room Eagles, Tivoli Wizards, Falmouth Saints, Central Celtics, Spanish Town Spartans, Portmore Flames