With the recent announcement for re-openings of parks by the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, the West Grand Bahama (WGB) Community Basketball League will commence its now shortened season, beginning Tuesday.
Moving into its 12th year of ‘Summer League’ action, the WGB League's schedule will run from Tuesday, June 30 until August 8, at the Fritz Forbes Community Park in Pinedale, Eight Mile Rock.
League President Ross Burrows spoke with The Freeport News and informed that this year's games were almost cancelled due to the global pandemic known as COVID-19. The summer basketball season is no doubt a fixture for residents of West Grand Bahama and Burrows expressed gratification that the season could resume.
“With the sporting world shut down due to the global pandemic we were considering not having the league on this year. But, with the kids asking about the league every day, that lets you know that you were doing a good thing and they anticipate the league every year.
“Going into our 12th season of hosting this league, we decided to play this season after the prime minister announced that parks are to. This keeps the kids off the streets and keeps something positive going in the community,” Burrows shared.
With the season shortened, Burrows disclosed that games will have to be played daily, Monday - Saturday, weather permitting. Safety protocols and social distancing will also be enforced for players and fans.
“We’re going to try and control the crowds, whereby only the teams that are playing at the time will be allowed to be on the court. For the fans we will use the bleachers to keep the six-feet social distancing enforced,” he said.
Teams have already committed to playing in the Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Open Divisions. Four teams will be featured in the Under 13 Division; six teams each are registered for both the Under 15 and Under 17 Divisions; and eight teams are expected to compete in the Open Division.
The teams, likely, would also travel throughout the community of EMR. Burrows disclosed that plans are in motion to play games on the various parks in EMR.
“It’s a relief for us (executives) as well as the players and fans. Everyone’s been asking about it and everyone’s been anticipating doing something for the summer months.
“The community is very excited. We were thinking of going from park-to-park on Saturdays. Hopefully, we can still use that avenue. Once we can get some commitment from the communities where the parks are located, we’ll bring the games to them.”
Parks anticipated to be used along with the Fritz Forbes Park are, the ones in Hannah Hill, Sea Grape and Jones Town.
With players already choosing which teams they are joining and teams having equal time away from practicing, Burrows predicted that this season will be very competitive.
“We expect a very competitive league, because players have the option to leave one team and enhance another. We’ve already seen where some players have switched teams, but we’re going to keep the league as competitive as possible, whereby one team won’t dominate by having all the good players.
“In the end, the team in the best shape, or which has the best chemistry, will probably win. Anything can happen because rosters on paper don’t determine whether you win or lose,” he concluded.