GOOD RESULTS at last weekend’s AmeriCup 3×3 Basketball have boosted the nation’s ranking from 16 to number 6 in the Americas. According to Jamaica Basketball Association president Paulton Gordon, there is already a different buzz about the hoopsters in black-green-and-gold.
Jamaica’s men started in the qualifying rounds in last weekend’s tournament in Miami, Florida and clipped the sixth-seeded Chileans to reach the quarter-finals. Their play saw them lose only to the tournament’s eventual gold and silver medallists, the USA and Brazil. “Immediately, you start to see a different buzz in terms of our regional status. In fact, on Monday morning when I checked, we were immediately invited to the Canuck-Caribbean Games next June. I don’t think we were on the radar for that because we were not playing any basketball. We were not playing any 3×3. Based on the performance over the weekend, the men were immediately invited because we are now the top-ranked Caribbean 3×3 team,” said Gordon.
For Gordon, the result underscores the importance of the AmeriCup venture.
“Some persons are not keen on us playing any regional competitions at this point in time, but it’s important to keep our ranking up. Our ranking will determine whether or not we get invited to things like CAC Games, PanAm Games, Commonwealth Games, those are the sort of things and if you’re not invited to those situations, you’ve missed a lot of opportunities for the youngsters,” he explained.
With rankings resting both on international tournament results and local 3×3 activity, the association plans to keep the momentum going at home.
“What I want to do and I have been reaching out to the authorities, I want to have a late November/early December 3×3 competition for the NBL teams,” Gordon revealed.
He is quietly optimistic about the proposed National Basketball League (NBL) 3×3 competition. “I’m actually waiting on approval from the authorities, the ministry and ODPEM, for that to happen,” he stated.
“In actual fact, it would have been approved under the protocol guidelines that we got earlier this year. When I wrote to them, there were three areas that we suggested: clinics, training camps for national teams and 3×3 basketball since it’s not as engaging because of the numbers and that was broadly approved.”
The next step is key. “So I’m just really waiting on the ministry to say to the IPL, okay it’s approved, we can go ahead and organise and roll it out,” Gordon said.
“I’ve also been talking to ISSA. I’m hoping that, if basketball is returned under the school system, February, March, 3×3 basketball can also be a part of that, because I think there’s no turning back. It’s becoming quite popular. All major competitions up to the highest level, which is the Olympic Games, have now included 3×3 basketball. So it’s a version that we have to pay attention to,” he concluded.