Basketball federation unable to use Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium

Basketball federation unable to use Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium
Bahamian Willis Mackey Jr (right) during a game against Puerto Rico on November 30, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (FIBA)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) officials are up in arms over the fact that they are unable to access the Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium with less than a month to go before they compete internationally.

According to a release sent out by the BBF on Saturday, federation heads are “frustrated and irritated” as it appears their requests to use the national facility have fallen on deaf ears.

“The BBF simply does not have access to the Kendal G.L. Isaacs gym to hold practices for the squads; or even, to conduct a practical session for a referees’ international certification course although formal requests have been submitted,” the statement read.

“The Federation calls on the relevant authorities to rectify this situation for its programs that are designed to fully develop and promote the sport of basketball in the Bahamas.

“Most certainly, the BBF understands that renovations are being conducted at the KGLI. However, works are being done to the changing rooms and on parts of the building that are nowhere near the basketball playing surface or the uprights.

“It should be emphasized that the A.F. Adderley gym and other basketball facilities in town are not of FIBA official standard size. Practicing at those places has proven to have placed Bahamian teams at a distinct disadvantage in terms of our shooting i.e improper backdrop and three-point line.”

The Federation went on to say that due to a lack of a proper practice facility, several players on that were selected to compete in the third and final leg of the FIBA AmeriCup 2020 qualifiers are considering a boycott.

“The Federation more prominent players feel slighted and heavily underappreciated,” according to the statement.

“To be kept in mind is that these athletes are professionals that take time out from their various teams to represent the country, sometimes at salary loss. It is often repeated that ‘shabby treatment has been going on for far too long’ in the program.”

The Bahamas faces The United States on February 18, followed by a February 20 matchup against Puerto Rico.

As it stands, the team will have to travel to Puerto Rico a week prior to the official start of the Tournament to get in full squad practices and enhance team unification.

This means supplying accommodations, proving meals, awarding stipends and hiring transportation for the contingent for five days.