Basketball In Anguilla

By Don Kelbick

BASKETBALL IN ANGUILLA

I have a great interest in helping basketball grow, wherever the seeds are sewn. I made a trip to Anguilla to help some very dedicated people try to realize their goal of making basketball matter here.

Anguilla is a very small island, located about 200 miles east of Puerto Rico, in the Leeward Islands. It has really friendly people, great food and beautiful beaches. Travel was a flight from Miami to St. Martin and then a 20 minute ferry to Anguilla.

The first thing I noticed was, as a British territory, that people drive on the wrong side of the road. I always thought that would be no big deal, but I was wrong. I have no doubt that if I drove here many people would wind up dead. Just crossing the street is a problem.

On this island of 13,000 people, there is really no basketball culture to speak of, except for a small group of dedicated residents who believe they can enrich the lives of the people of Anguilla, especially the kids, by exposing them to the game. The trip was postponed once to allow  Hurricane Irene to pass over the Island. In fact, the coaches almost got caught in the weather as they were painting the court. That’s right, the coaches were painting the court!

We are running the camp in 2 sections, 8-12 in the morning and 13 and up in the afternoon. It is a long day in the sun. Never did I ever think you could burn through SPF 50. The kids are great. Very positive, very respectful and very friendly. As players, they are all novices, even the older ones. They have never been through anything like this camp before. They are learning how to work hard, how to respect others on their team and how to play basketball.

The players are very willing learners. They are eager to soak up knowledge, no matter where it comes from. The coaches, all Island residents, are eager to learn as well. I have worked a lot of camps for a lot of years and rarely have I found a group that I enjoy being with as much as this group of coaches. Their connection through the kids to the game is something to be admired.

This has not been an easy week. Temperatures in the mid 90′s, no cover, blazing sun, and other obstacles (I lathered on the SPF 50 but it had no effect). In the U. S. we get spoiled with facilities, equipment, etc. This camp, however, is the reason why we all should coach. An unique opportunity to reach people of all ages who are not jaded by false hopes of NBA paydays, no helicopter parents and no desires other than looking for a positive influence in their lives. The opportunity to touch so many people and have an effect on their lives is what coaching is all about.

Maribelle West and Paul Bell, the driving forces behind the effort, have created a true grass roots program. Hopefully they will get the support they so richly deserve.

You can see their goals and aspirations at www.IslandHoopsABA.com

For more information visit www.DonKelbickBasketball.com

3 Comments

  1. chinedu — September 16, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    Pls sir I will love to play the game of my live and that is basketball sie pls I need your help to sew the world what I have in me thank you sie my number is +2348167715944

  2. Dan @ Anguilla Resorts — September 22, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    Wow. What a great idea. I hope the movement get off the ground. It would be nice to see an official team for Anguilla.

  3. dima — November 1, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    я хочу играть в баскетбол за рубежом желательно в Америке, я живу в России. Как мне осуществить свою мечту. Я играю не плохо, люблю командную игру,мне на данный момент 17 лет. Помогите чем сможет. Подскажите пожалуйста колледжи или другие учебные заведения и конечно предоставьте их адреса и email. I want to play basketball abroad it is desirable in America, I live in Russia. As to me to carry out the dream. I play not badly, I love command game, me at present 17 years. Help than can. Prompt please colleges or other educational institutions and certainly give their addresses and email.

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