By Klieon John
St. Kitts Reporter.
After more than a ten-week hiatus St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association (SKABA) Premier Division is set to resume this Sunday.
None of the division matches were being played since the Association lost the court matting to the volleyball Association for the hosting of the OECS Men’s Volleyball Championships held in September.
As a result, games could not be played at the usual venue, Basketball City, in Basseterre. Instead, the league was moved to various community courts in Cayon, Challengers and Dorsett.
SKABA president Glen ‘Ghost’ Phillip was happy to report however, that with the aid of the National Olympic Committee and the Office of the Prime Minister, they have been able to purchase a new mat for approximately EC$55,000. The mat arrived from Utah in late September and has already been installed.
Phillip has high hopes that fan turn out will resume in full force when the Premier Division, which has always been the ‘flagship of the association, resumes.
“It would be a challenge but based on the turnout that we’ve been having at these different venues, I think that people have still stuck with basketball through our darkest hour and now that we are going back, I do hope that they follow us back to Basketball City.”
Phillip said that the league might have been finished already had it not been for the loss of the mat. He said the re-location of the games to open courts, which prevented them from charging admission, and the suspension of the premier division has not been a significant financial loss to the association.
“It has given us the opportunity to draw persons from these various communities who have now been exposed to the experience,” says Phillip. “It has given us the formula to take the game around St. Kitts instead of having it at one centralized area. We will now try and de-centralize as much as possible with the help of our sponsors, Digicel. So the experience was really a blessing in disguise because although we lost use of the mat, we were able to go out and attract new fans.”
The association leader invited the general public to attend the weekly matches and support their favorite teams