Patience is a virtue that everyone involved in basketball in Guyana needed in 2020. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) and the Guyana basketball stars saw their season canceled a week before its start. Patience has also been mandatory in quarantine situations.
Some talents were still able to play, such as Anthony Moe, who was still able to play in the Nicaraguan league – Liga Superior de Baloncesto (LSB) – where he averaged 20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists a football club UNAN Leon’s basket, which finished third in the LSB.
Stanton Rose made the national standout for the first time in the NCAA, after transferring to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, USA along with Kevon Wiggins, who transferred to Lamar College in Lamar, Colorado, USA.
The patience of local players was tested as the pandemic canceled seasons at all levels. With the absence of play, the GABF took the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers and partners at several virtual meetings, clinics and workshops. Members of the Guyana basketball fraternity attended virtual clinics and workshops offered by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Basketball (CONCENCABA) and the Guyana Olympic Association.
Several topics have been presented by experts around the world, focusing on the development of a national federation. Topics included media and marketing, the fundamentals of coaches and match officials, event management, sports psychology, anti-doping awareness, Women in Basketball, digital assets, local government partnership and community relations, to name but a few.
As part of the “Stay Ready” campaign, the GABF completed three virtual activities; namely, the National Skills Challenge, Tricks for Kicks – Trick Shot Challenge, and the Costume Design Challenge. The Guy17 U17 men’s and women’s national teams were specially invited to compete in the FIBA World Under-17 Skills Challenge, but had to withdraw from the challenge due to the closure of COVID-19.
The winning team of the Antilles National Qualifier 3 × 3 attended the IBF Antilles 3 × 3 Finals between February 28 and March 2, 2020 in Guadeloupe. The event included a youth leadership and life skills workshop and a 3 × 3 mixed nations basketball tournament. Participants learned about the IBF’s “Basketball for Good” mentality and were encouraged to think about how it could be used basketball as a tool to influence positive change in their lives and communities.
Timothy Richmond of Guyana received the ‘Basketball for Good’ award for men.
The GABF signed a five-year partnership with Genius Sports. Genius Sports will provide a digital platform, including FIBA LiveStats, FIBA Organizer, Game Center, FIBA LiveStats Widget, and access to the FIBA Statisticians Network. The value of the partnership is US $ 182,000.
Guyana received its FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifying 2023 ticket, and the senior men’s national team is awaiting an appeal decision from the COVID-19 National Task Force to resume training in 2021. The first FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualification 2023 is a schedule for 17-21 February 2021 in El Salvador.
The GABF also applied for the AmeriCup FIBA 3 × 3, with the first applicator scheduled for April 2021.
Sileena Arjune was accepted to FIBA’s Adelante America Forum for Women in Basketball. The Women’s Forum is made up of female participants from 38 American national federations. Workshops, with topics such as Youth Development by Dawn Smyth, NBA; Officer Development by Nadine Crowley, Canadian Board of Sport; Women in Leadership by Cynthis Marshall, CEO of Dallas Mavericks; Marketing Your Project by Andrea Perez, VP Jordan Brand; and How to be an Effective Sports Leader by Andreas Zagklis, Secretary General of FIBA, to name but a few. During the break, Sileena was placed in a cohort with colleagues from Aruba, Dominican Republic and Guatemala, with a similar interest in a 3 × 3 development.
The first virtual AGM was held focusing on the implementation of its new strategy, prioritizing the empowerment of subsidiaries, Women in Basketball, and GABF Family Expansion.
With 2021 in its early stages, the GABF plans to implement all canceled events of 2020 focusing on 3 × 3, youth and women’s basketball. FIBA 2021 events include Former FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers, ABAi 3x 3 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifier – CBC, FIBA 3 × 3 Nations League, Centrobasket U15 and U17 Championships, and U14 and U16 Championships CBC.
Ineligible regional events include the Inter-Guiana Games, South American Games (3 × 3), Caribbean Games (3 × 3), and IBF Antilles 3 × 3 Finals.