CASTRIES – The Antilles 3×3 Hoops Final took place this past weekend and was a huge success in both social and sporting aspects.
The level of basketball was high and all national teams proved there is a lot of talent in the Caribbean. In both U18 Men’s and U18 Women’s categories, the teams from Martinique went undefeated in reaching the finals. The men’s side faced tough competition against the Guyanese but were still able to win gold after a suspenseful game which they won 8-7. Meanwhile, the women from Martinique were joined in the title game by the host St-Lucia. However, the Saint Lucians were not able to make the most from the home advantage as the Martiniquans were quickly able to take the upper hand and bring home the gold medals.
The tournament’s MVPs were Martinique’s Emerick Foucan (#7) for the men and St. Lucia’s Ramani Lewis-Emmanuel (#6) for the women. Three more athletes were rewarded for their displays. Dracon Djenina and Cayol Francois-Xavier respectively won the Women’s and Men’s Shoot-out contest, taking home two trophies to Guadeloupe, while Allan Foulongani claimed an additional trophy for Martinique by winning the dunk contest.
In organizing and facilitating this event, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF) wished to empower youths and nourish their love of basketball while teaching them to be leaders and inspire their communities.
This objective was fully achieved according to FIBA President Horacio Muratore, who enjoyed interacting with the youths and stated: “This initiative of the IBF was very successful. Not only did we see good basketball competition on high level, but also engaged young people in the youth leadership workshop. We hope that this will further stimulate basketball in the region.”
The youth leadership workshop led by Mthoko Madonda, Rubel Ahmed and Jabulani Myeza of Reach Sports Management was an equally great success. The youths got to know each other and learnt how to work together as a team. They were encouraged to share their experience and think about how basketball can help other young people in their communities.
“We think the workshop was able to inspire youth to realise their leadership potential while also learning about how basketball can play a role in meeting community challenges. We hope that we can create a network of youth leaders from across the Antilles who can support each other and create change through basketball,” said Madonda.
Throughout the 52 games over the week-end, the youths were able to gain international level experience and showcase their talent to the 3000 spectators who cheered for them. They will bring back knowledge and experience to encourage their whole community.
The St. Lucia Basketball Federation thanks the IBF for this opportunity and wishes them well in future events of this nature. The SLBF also thanks all its sponsors: KFC Real Foods, Invest St. Lucia, GOSL, Blue Waters, Taxi Sportswear, FLOW, Top Ranking Electricals, Computer Store, Paints Plus, AIM, RSVP Marketing, Ministry of Sports, Sandals Resorts, Peter & Company Distribution, The Computer Store, Unicomer, Travel & Leisure Services, Alternative Security Services for their invaluable contributions towards the success of this event.
Also special thanks to the local organizing committee, the volunteers from BILD and the Boys Training Centre, Referees & Officials and the management of the sports complex.