March 3, 2006
Williams puts fresh focus on basketball

Wayne Williams, newly elected President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation (SVGBBF), has put the revitalisation of the sport as the immediate priority area of his executive. {{more}}

Williams, the man credited with giving the sport a lift in the 1990’s, sees the upcoming two- week Olympic Solidarity Course, beginning March 11, as critical in this process.

“Immediately, we need to build the resource personnel of the organisation. Few persons are doing too much work,” he stated.

“In addition we have to target the schools, both primary and secondary; we have to target communities, spread the game, spread the knowledge of the game and put things in place in such a way that persons who want to learn basketball will do so in the right way,” Williams advanced.

The long -standing administrator and basketball coach revealed that his body plans to work through the National Olympic Committee itinerary programme to achieve their immediate objectives.

Admitting that competitions are necessary, Williams defended stoutly the federation’s decision not to hold the male tournament last year.

Whilst a tournament is on the card this time around, Williams said, “We should avoid having teams that are unprepared, give them time to participate in developmental programmes.”

He also sees the hosting of area tournaments as important at this juncture.

St.Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to send a male team to the Caribbean Basketball Confederation tournament in Jamaica in June.

Williams said that this tournament will be used as a qualification for all regional and International tournaments.

Attaching great significance to this tournament, he said, “ It takes you to the Olympics, it takes you to the Pan American Games, the CAC Games.”

Elected for a four-year period, Williams sees the acquisition of a covered facility for basketball as his long-term goal.

“ We cannot make strides unless we have a covered facility. I am not talking about an elaborate gym, a covered secured court where you can bring in teams and host functions,” he stressed.

The present federation’s facility at New Montrose is woefully short of adequate amenities, with the stands still uncovered.

Williams is a graduate in Economics and Management having completed studies in the United States and Japan. He persists with efforts to improve basketball here, at times at a personal expense.

A number of basketballers are in the US on Williams’ initiative and recommendation.

During the last year, basketball took a nose- dive in popularity on the local scene, although on the international circuit there was much to celebrate.

There was no national men’s competition while the female version was riddled with problems. In addition, the customary village competitions found themselves omitted from the sporting calendar.

Saving the face of the sport were the performances of Sophia Young and Sancho Lyttle in the NCAAA tournament. Young played a pivotal role in helping Baylor University to the title. While Lyttle did not light up the world, she became the first Vincentian to be drafted in the WNBA.