Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association (NLBA) executive director Bill Murphy calls the upcoming national midget boys and girls (15 and under) basketball championship in St. John’s “a big deal.”
He’s right, considering it’s been 26 years since the last time the event was in this province.
The reason for the quarter-century hosting drought?
Murphy put it down to ‘finances and lack of facilities.”
“You really need two quality facilities and we have them now,” he said, adding that they also received a hosting grant from the provincial government.
“We might end up making a few bucks this time around, but I don’t think that’s the point.”
And don’t expect it to be another 26 years before the tourney returns. Recently, that sports national governing body set up a rotation among the provinces to take turns in hosting the event.
“Everyone will be treated equally now. That makes sense because everyone is paying into a travel pool. And,” Murphy pointed out, “we’ve be regular participants in all age groups at national championships for the last 20 years at least.”
Scheduled to run Aug. 4-10, the competition will involve teams from all 10 provinces as well as Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Competition will be held at the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre in St. John’s, the Field House and the old Memorial University gym, which has been refurbished and has a new floor.
Murphy said will be about 350 players and coaches will be coming to St. John’s along with several hundred family and friends.
Putting off such a tournament obviously takes volunteers and Murphy said they’ve been rounding them up.
“We figure it’s going to take about 200,” said Murphy.
Those interested can register on line at the association’s webpage www.nlba.nf.ca
Murphy said this is a big tournament for these young athletes. “This is where you get on Canada’s depth chart.”
NLBA president Dave Constantine is the host committee chairman.
Out of the 16 floor officials, seven are from this province and they are Sarah Cole, Brady Turner, Craig Dawe, Kieran Roach, Alicia Bird, Andy Bishop and Michael Duff. Jamey Jennings from Gander is one of four assignor/evaluator officials for the tourney.
All athletes will be staying at residences at Memorial University, where they will be fed as well.
The opening ceremony banquet will take place at the main dining hall on campus (Gushue Hall) Aug 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Newfoundland and Labrador teams
Head coach: Robyn Constantine (St. John’s), assistant coaches Kendelle Kavanagh (St. John’s), Katie Smith (St. John’s).
Hailey Fudge (Dunville)
Sydney VanDeWeil (St. John’s)
Claire Hickman (St. John’s)
Stephanie Adey (Mount Pearl)
Sarah Hiscock (Mount Pearl)
Ashley Collins (Goulds)
Kaleigh Sellars (St. John’s)
Kianna Vaughan (Goulds)
Breena Power (Goulds)
Meghan Greenland (St. John’s)
Janine Coombss (Witless Bay)
Natasha Knight (St. John’s)
Head coach: Blair White; assistant coaches Matthew Cleary (St. John’s), Matt Bruce (St. John’s), Mark English (St. John’s)
Brandon Bambrick (St. John’s)
Nathan Barker (Corner Brook)
Lyndon Boone (Conception Bay South)
Christopher Dobbin (Corner Brook)
Thomas Hickman (St. John’s)
Matthew McCrowe (Goulds)
Sam McIsaac (St. John’s)
Matthew Parsons (St. John’s)
Ryker Richard (Outer Cove)
Benjamin Rogers (St. John’s)
Malcolm Snow (St. John’s)
Jason Thompson (St. John’s)
The host committee
Tournament chair — Dave Constantine
Technical Committee — Roger Head
Services Committee — Joe Lake
Operation Committee — Ig Parsons
Communications Committee — Tom Earles
Sponsorship — Tom Kendell
Game Operations — Pam Constantine