Four teenage basketballers represented St. Maarten at the third edition of the Antilles IBF 3x3 Hoops competition and Youth Leadership and Life skills workshop in Guadeloupe.
Attending the three- day tournament and workshop were Chelston Brown (19), Maliek Short (18),
Lemuel Blake (17) and Kuzari Simmons (17).
“The design of the event was to take the players of the region out of their comfort zone by mixing all teams,” said Paul Bell of St. Maarten Island Hoops. “The idea was that if players played with regional counterparts they were unfamiliar with and struggled to communicate with, that they would tap into parts of their game that they don't usually show.”
A total of 17 teams, boys and girls from from 15 countries attended the training and tournament.
“The idea worked as planned as all our players embraced the challenge presented to them. From initiating offense, to being aggressive both offensively and defensively, to being trusting of others and facilitating, as well as being vocal leaders on their teams.”
The seminars were lead by 3x3 Unites of the Netherlands. “We have already introduced life skills workshops in our programs, Island Hoops, “explained Bell.
A part of the youth workshops was ownership and ambassadorship of 3x3 basketball. ”It allows the youth to push the sport forward by organizing their own events - with our guidance. This will surely help the sport grow, but also gives the youth a true sense of ownership and contribution to their respective neighborhoods.”
On the court Blake's team finished second overall in the male division. Short's team finished third amd won the dunking competition.
Making the trip possible were Department of Sports, the Tourism Bureau, the Guardian Group and Sport Gallery.
Photo by Malaïka Bell