ALTHOUGH the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) is beset by a number of financial matters due to moneys owed to them, the governing body for the sport in Guyana is leaving no stone unturned, as it seeks to further give its men's team international exposure. The team will visit Jamaica for a series of matches starting this weekend.
The GABF Senior men's team will participate in the Jamaica Basketball Association-hosted Tri-Nation Basketball Invitational from tomorrow through Monday, November 28, at the Jamaica National Indoor Sports Centre.
Apart from Guyana, teams for the Tri-Nation Basketball Invitational are American Basketball Association's (ABA) semi-professional outfit - the Libertyville Vipers, Jamaica Seniors and Jamaica Under-21
As the federation awaits an expected tax waiver for tickets for the team to travel, GABF boss Nigel Hinds noted, 'We have creditors that we owe approximately $20M, I have been in talks with them for a repayment plan.'
Currently, according to the federation boss, they are expecting payments from the National Sports Commission worth $8M and the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) some $4M.
Hinds is adamant about the payments being made to the federation, saying the federation is working through the challenges despite being owed millions of dollars.
Hinds has endeavoured to put basketball first in promoting the game internationally, which is ultimately aimed at getting the players in line with what obtains at the international level.
This past week the federation has sought the waiver of taxes that will allow for the lessening of costs attached for the team to travel. This will therefore determine when the team departs for Jamaica.
Notably it conprises a mixture of experience and youth to take on their Jamaican counterparts at home in a one-week series.
According to Hinds, 'The GRA tax waiver letter for CAL will finalise the team's departure leg in terms of cost. We have paid already for the tickets except for the tax, according to them.'
In explaining the quality of the players chosen for this trip, Hinds said: 'It is a fantastic mix of young and senior players with a bias for the junior players. We are giving our younger talent an international platform to shine and gain confidence and exposure.
'We have a 6'10' U-19 player on the team - we hope our coaches really make him into a player all Guyana can be proud of, among others.'
The Guyana touring team will include the following 13 players: Shane Webster, Jermaine Slater, Nathan Saul, Dominique Vincente, Nikkolio Smith, Terron Welch, Michael Turner, Travis Belgrave, Stanton Rose, Roger John, Jason Squires, Curt English and Akeem Kanhai, The officials are head coach Mark Agard, assistant coaches Abdul Hamid and Junior Hercules, with manager Troy Green.