It's a busy time for the GBA!
At the recent AGM, President Pat Ogier stood down after 15 years in the role. He has been replaced by Jai Vaudin who has been part of the committee for a number of years and felt he was ready to take on the role. Jai is keen to build on the foundations in place and work together with the basketball community to continue to push the game forward on the Island and prepare for the Island Games in 2021.
Ogier isn't going too far though as he takes up the role of Head Of Development to concentrate on the GBA's Junior development and also help develop coaches to deliver a programme to the increasing number of players coming through the Future Stars programme. 16 coaches took a level 2 qualification over the summer with some having already completed their practical assessments and the remainder almost finished - a brilliant effort and Ogier offered his congratulations to all that took part - "Having 16 new coaches is fantastic and will obviously assist the Association as the numbers playing grows. They all worked incredibly hard under the tutelage of Matt Shaw from Derby Trailblazers and they will all make fine coaches". Shaw was extremely impressed with the set up in Guernsey and is keen to come back in the future to deliver further courses. Ogier will also be part of the team that will be responsible for delivering the Island Games basketball tournament with a key element being the training of new table officials to be part of the officiating team during the games.
Vaudin is flanked by secretary Emma Webb and Treasurer / Fixtures Secretary, Pete Beausire and a host of experienced GBA members as the Association follows up their 50th anniversary with an exciting 20 months, culminating in the Guernsey Island Games in July 2021. Before then there is a home and away Inter Insular and a youth games to navigate but Vaudin is confident all will be delivered to the highest standard.
The season is now fully underway with the Under 21's returning to a new look Division 1 following the third GBA draft and the hope is that this will bring balance and competition to the division, continuing to improve the standard of play whilst allowing some of the younger players the opportunity to go up against Guernsey's best. Mayside are the early leaders with two wins out of two as they narrowly squeezed by LMS in their last game 81-79.
The Women's division also sees some changes with the return of Island players Kat Daunt (LMS), Ieva Babina (Comets) and Katie Cochrane (Ravenscroft) which should also provide some balance to the teams. Ravenscroft will be keen to retain their title but the scoring prowess of Babina and Daunt gives their respective teams a much needed boost - one which could see any of the four teams, which includes the dangerous Praxis Pumas, lift the title come the end of the season. Comets are 1-0 after a good opening win against Praxis while Ravenscroft and LMS Storm have a record of 1-1 following a win and a loss in two fixtures between the respective teams.
In Division Two LMS Used will be the team to beat but they will be pushed by Mavericks and Cranfords, while new team White Inc. will also be one to watch. Skillz, Giants 2 and the Under 17's complete the division - all capable of upsets on their day. Used have once again started strongly, as have Cranfords - both with perfect 2-0 records in the early season exchanges.
The U16 and U14 leagues will start around Christmas giving the players time to get some training in, with Future Stars well underway since the first week back at school.
A referee's course is scheduled for Feb 2020 and we will shortly gain two qualified Level 3 referees following Luke and Jai Vaudin's summer course - they have done two of their three assessed games in the UK and with the third coming up soon we wish them the best of luck.
Its going to be a busy time within the GBA and we are looking forward to all of the great things that are happening up to the games in 2021. We hope you will join us and be part of these great events and we are on the lookout for 30 or so people to help with the running of the basketball competition in 2021, either as a table official or venue assistant, so please do get in touch if you would like to help out!
Stay posted for updates throughout the course of the season!
Good Luck to all the teams and players!