SKBA To Scout Youth Talents
Solomon Islands is set to join 20 other countries in the region to participate in the FIBA Oceania U17 Youth Championships to be hosted by Guam later this year.
According to the Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) and the Solomon Kids Basketball Academy (SKBA), this is an opportunity for the country and its youngest players to participate in the new FIBA Competition system format at an early stage, as it commences in this new year.
The new FIBA competition format is set to produce the best teams in the Oceania region, who will go on to compete in the Asia Championships for a spot in the basketball World Cup, held every four years.
This new format is now being implemented for the first time at the senior level where the 2015 Pacific Games Gold and Silver medallists, who are Guam and Fiji respectively (men’s), and Fiji and American Samoa (women) are now preparing to participate in the Asian B Division for a spot in the Asian Championship. The final top seven teams in the Asian Championship will get automatic qualification into the next basketball World Cup.
The chance to work through the new system with younger players participating at regional competitions will provide needed experience when competing at the senior level. This was highlighted by SKBA founder and coach, Mr. Howard Tang along with former SI national player/coach, Mr. Moses Kivo
“We believe the future of our sport lies in the young children today going through our maiden program last year, and we hope to move this further’, Tang explained.
“We have been given the green light by SIBF to work with our youngest players and help introduce not only introductory skills to our youths but also, work with our more talented and advanced young players to gain enough experience through competitions at the highest level’, he added.
Former national player/coach, Moses Kivo also explained that currently at the youth level, teams from the FIBA Oceania division will have a greater opportunity to play with the world’s best.
Kivo explained that by competing in Guam this year, Solomon Islands will have the chance to qualify for the FIBA World Championships in 2018. The space has now been widened to allow four Oceania federation teams to progress into the qualifying rounds.
“We will also be scouting and training players for the Under-15 FIBA Oceania Championships that will be hosted in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea next year in mid-2018”, Kivo added.
“Furthermore, we are also looking ahead to the U17 FIBA Oceania Championships to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2019, so lots of crucial preparation for youth basketball in the country to at least be competitive against other regional youth teams”
SKBA will be holding its first trials for any interested basketball players under the age of 17 at the CYO basketball court at 3pm this weekend on Sunday.
The second trials will be on next Sunday 19th February, 2017 on the same venue at 3pm also.