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Basketball youngsters heading to Global Cup

Bermuda Basketball Association (BBA) will take more than 50 players from their youth programme to the prestigious Global Cup Tournament in Orlando, Florida next month. The travelling party including male and female players aged 12 to 16 will be the largest number of local players to leave the Island to compete. Held at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex at the Walt Disney Resort, the Global Cup will attract some of the best youth teams from more than 20 countries. Among the ten coaches accompanying Bermuda’s five national teams to the Sunshine State are Charles Peters, head coach of the national youth programme, and youth director Chris Crumpler. The BBA, who recently established the national youth programme, entered an under-12 boys’ team in last year’s tournament, which runs from August 3 to 11. Although they didn’t win any matches, Bermuda’s youngsters performed well enough to convince Peters it was worth sending a larger contingent this time around. “What’s interesting is the team we took last year didn’t win any games but they came very close. They had a two point defeat against the Philippines, the team that actually went on to win the title,” said Peters, a former NCAA Division One player at Drexel University, Philadelphia. “What we learned from that experience was that Bermuda basketball can compete on the international stage. All of those players have come on leaps and bounds since and that experience was critical for that improvement.” For Bermuda to raise the standard of the domestic game, Crumpler believes it’s vital the BBA devote much of their time and energy into identifying and developing talent from a young age. “The Bermuda Under-19 team we started in 2007 went to tournaments in Las Vegas and Florida but it was too late in the game for those guys to compete at a reasonably high level,” said the Bermuda Island Games squad member. “We went back to the drawing board and decided to focus on a younger group of players. We want to build the infrastructure of the national youth programme which is the first the BAA has had on this scale.” Bermuda’s players, who have been training for the Global Cup since May, have took part in numerous fundraising activities, including car washes and raffles to help cover the cost of their trip. The BAA are also looking for a primary sponsor to provide financial support to the national youth programme. Charles added: “With 50 kids travelling to Florida comes a lot of expenses and we still have a couple of fundraisers before we leave. “During the Island Games our players will be working the concessions, then we also have movie night for the animation film Turbo on July 20 at Liberty Theatre at 10am for $15 which includes the ticket price, a bag of popcorn and a drink.” Bermuda’s youth players will also hold a car wash at BAA Field on Saturday at 9am.

Bermuda’s squads: Bermuda under-12s A Rye Ahronson William Gray Mical Hardtman Miguel Perry Caelin Peters Kobie Reid Tristan Rocha Kumari Tannock

Bermuda under-12s B Jalen Currin Zane Curtis-Thomas Jermayne Dears Kevin Greaves Arrington Jeffers Jacy Lowery Kenai Stowe Niall Waring

Bermuda Under-14s Marlon Darrell Tyler Dill Jared Douglas MyKal Glasgow Beyce Gonsalves Jefferson Gonzales Zachary Johnson Colby Mapp Keevon Minors Sean Peniston Andy Perez Yontz Sutton Sean Tucker Stean Wilson

Bermuda under-14 women Caroline Amaral Zariah Amory Zahjarie Augustus Ember Butterfield Demiqua Daniels Yasmin DeGraff Sakari Famous SiYaunne Hall Emily Hellam Nya Heyliger Inshan-nae Smith

Bermuda under-16 Matthew Amaral Jason Gonsalves Josh Hardtman Antoine Jackson Joshua Liyanage Evin Scott Mosley Darae Smith Raushon Tankard

Photo by Mark Tatem Bermuda coach Charles Peters (centre) takes part in a recent training session at BHS with some of the players who will compete at the Global Cup Tournament in Florida next month.