By Kevin Davis

St. Kitts Office Manager

Glen ‘Ghost’ Phillip has been appointed St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association (SKABA) president.

The basketball veteran received tremendous support during the voting process and said he planned to lead basketball in St. Kitts in the right direction.

Phillip told The Observer that under his leadership, things would be different in SKABA, noting the decline in the once popular sport.

The decline, he said, could be seen in the attitudes of the players as well as in that of the fans. He noted that attendance at the games had declined drastically over the years. He outlined some of his immediate goals to include getting the fans back involved in the game and rebuilding SKABA’s credibility.

Phillip explained that he has received some input from the outgoing management team since they had already begun plans for the new season. However, Phillip said that he and his executive team have plans of their own that they would like to institute.

Along with Phillip’s appointment, Dr Garfield Alexander was elected as the new vice president, Ethel Patrick-Thomas as treasurer, Jason Macintosh as assistant treasurer, Vanessa Paris as secretary, Lester Ible as assistant secretary and Shawn Crossley as public relations officer.

In addition to the management team an extended management committee and referee committee have been put in place. The names of the committee members were not readily available up until press time as the association was still awaiting nominee responses.

Phillip, a former national coach and player of over fifteen years said that basketball has basically built his whole career, both on and off the court.

“ Looking at where the sport was headed I feel the changes that will be made under this present executive body will supercede those of the former administration as it relates to improving the league. I felt I could do more for the association and the game on a local level by retiring from active play and taking this administrative role. Basketball is a long time passion of mine and I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss being on the court with my former team mates,” Phillip said.

“Despite the fact that I’m losing one of my key and most experienced players, I think that this is a stepping-stone for SKABA on a whole,” said James ‘Barman’ Hanley, a past president of SKBA and coach of the legendary Energizer Hitters. Hanley also said that SKABA needed a face-lift, which could be provided by Phillip, having been exposed basketball at the international college level. Hanley said that Phillip had the support of both players and former executive members.

Another of the new president’s initiatives is the establishment of basketball programmes in the schools.

“These programmes will seek to instil the fundamentals of basketball in the upcoming athletes in an effort to offer a higher standard of basketball when they reach higher levels, including SKABA or perhaps international leagues.”

Phillip took the opportunity to appeal to the public for better participation and attendance at the games held at Basketball City. He said that the league’s scheduled March start-up date had to be postponed to accommodate ICC Cricket World Cup.

As a result, he said the league was contemplating starting the season in April.