What a disappointment it was, as the Federation’s basketball team could not muster a single win — as the team lost all its games by an average of more than 30 points — at the Caribbean Basketball Championships in Jamaica.
The disappointment began with the massive loss against Jamaica in the opening day match-up. The Kittitians found themselves down 114-56 at the end of regulation.
The 58-point defeat was easily the largest for any St. Kitts national team in a regional tournament.
The second game against Barbados had similar fortunes as the team lost again by a huge margin, 94-52.
The third game was a slight improvement in terms of the team’s competitiveness — however the result remained the same — with another disappointing 93-63 loss to the US Virgin Islands.
Prior to their fourth game there was some glimmer of hope as they were about to face traditional rivals Antigua-Barbuda.
The Antiguan Bulldogs, as they are known, have faced St. Kitts on numerous occasions in some of the most memorable games in Caribbean basketball history.
Both teams have had varying successes when playing against each other. Thus the St. Kitts team was hoping at best for their most competitive match of the tournament.
This was not to be as the Antigua Bulldogs gave St. Kitts-Nevis another thrashing, with a 102-76 victory.
The final game of the tournament saw St. Kitts-Nevis playing St. Vincent and The Grenadines for the last placed position in the tournament.
The Vincentians enjoyed there only win thanks to the Kittitians with an 84-69 victory.
Marvin Davis led all the Kittitian scorers averaging 12.5 ppg while teammate Levi “By-By” Fyfeild also averaged in double figures with 10 ppg for the tournament.
Davis and William Natta were the eighth and ninth ranked rebounders overall for the tournament.
Good performances also came from George “Goolay” Gaton who also averaged 10 ppg.
Gaton played particularly well in the final three games where he had 16, 12 and 16 points respectively. FyField was also among the tournament leaders in 3-pointers made and was among the team leaders in assists along with Lyle Duggins and Duon McSheene.
Fyfeild also led the team in minutes played as well as blocked shots along with Duggins and Nasharn Maynard, while Davis was among the tournament leaders in steals.
The very disappointing performance of the team will definitely bring into question the readiness of the team to participate in a tournament such as the CBC Championships, which is easily the most competitive any regional tournament.
The St. Kitts-Nevis team last participated in the tournament in 2000 with similar fortunes in standings but were much more competitive with single digit losses against Jamaica, USVI, Antigua and a one-point loss against Trinidad.
The national team contingent consisted of 12 players and five officials; including Manager Malcolm Knight, SKABA President Wendell Pemberton, Assistant Coach “Sully” Douglas, Coach Glen “Ghost” Phillip and FIBA Referee Ian Liburd.
The team played a total five matches, losing all by an average of 30 plus points.
St. Kitts was the only team not to have the services of oversees based players.
According to reports from the tournament teams such as the host team Jamaica, runners-up the USVI and even Antigua-Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines all featured a high percentage of foreign-based players.
St. Kitts boasts it’s share of foreign players including Sandy Point born Terrence Herbert who is playing professionally in Europe, former college stars Lincoln Glasford, Jason Noland, Omari Cranstoun and Vance Clarke as well as high school phenom Kraidon Woods.
The team’s disappointing performance would have been greatly enhanced and improved had the services of the mentioned players been acquired.
It also begs the question, why was a team sent in the first place without any of the players mentioned knowing the level of play at the tournament?
The St. Kitts-Nevis team last participated in the tournament in 2000 with similar fortunes in standings but were much more competitive with single digit losses against Jamaica, USVI, Antigua and a 1 point loss against Trinidad. The final tournament standings were:
7. St.Vincent and the Grenadines