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'Every team will have chance of winning'- Hon Fraser

- Drafted players to be shifted around after 2 years in Annual Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed League
From left: Chairperson of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed League, Mrs Kharid T. Fraser, President of the BVI Basketball Federation Guy L. Malone, Co-Founder of the League Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Facilities Manager LaTicia Thompkins and Pastor Albert O. Wheatley at the launch of the league today, June 21, 2017. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
The 5th edition of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed National Basketball League will begin on Saturday August 19, 2017 at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
The 5th edition of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed National Basketball League will begin on Saturday August 19, 2017 at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
Co-Founder of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed League Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) has said every team will have a chance of winning the league. Photo: VINO
Co-Founder of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed League Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) has said every team will have a chance of winning the league. Photo: VINO
DUFF'S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI – In order to create balance of teams and to give each of them an opportunity to win the championship, the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed Basketball League has introduced a rule where draft picks will only be allowed two years with one team.

The 5th Annual Honourable Julian Fraser Save the Seed Basketball League will commence on August 19, 2017, with senior teams expected to all be vying for the coveted 'Gold' Championship rings.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017 edition of the league at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, today June 21, 2017, Chairperson of the league, Mrs Khalid T. Fraser, explained that the league started back in 2013 and now a second age group has been added to create an avenue for the youngsters, who have been in the league since its inception, to continue to play.

Parents will be expected to co-operate with the league organisers and support their children in a positive fashion as well as remember that the cornerstone of the league is discipline and the directors will not hesitate to enforce the rules.

Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), founding architect of the league, along with Bishop John I. Cline, welcomed President of the BVI Basketball Federation, Mr Guy L. Malone, to the event and thanked everyone for coming out to support the league.

'There will always be a league'

He then proceeded to assure that the league, one of the most popular basketball events in the territory, would continue as long as he is around.

“When Bishop Cline opened the facility, I promised to do whatever I could to help the gym survive and whilst I am here there will always be a league. Ours is an uphill battle as everyone is aware of the challenges within communities, but the league will continue to instil discipline and rules."

The league has been blessed with great sponsors who also believe in supporting young people and all are expected back for 2017, including platinum sponsor Digicel, Nagico Insurance, James Todman Construction, Caribbean Insurers Ltd, International Motors and many others.

The league would not have been a success without the sponsors and the players according to Hon Fraser. “The only compensation the players get is the cheers of the crowd and the chance to win championship rings, the coaches love the league and without the professional outlook of the referees we would not be where we are today.”

Hon Fraser also thanked the scorers and, last but not least, the fans who are a major part of the league's engine. “Sometimes you can see the impact they, the fans, have to lift their team’s performance”

Adjustment to rules

Definition and engagement of international players have been clearly written as well as the responsibilities of draft pick players. A draft pick player, for example, can only stay with a team for two years.

“Every team will have a chance of winning the championship,” stated Hon Fraser.

Pastor at New Life Baptist Church Mr Albert O. Wheatley, who spoke on behalf of Pastor John I. Cline, who is travelling, noted “where there is no vision people perish and where there is no people then vision perishes and with this league we are seeing the vision of the church fulfilled and Mr Fraser has brought the people. This league stands for discipline and structure and the church is especially pleased to see the levels of both that have been achieved.”

'More communication needed'

Mr Guy L. Malone, President of the BVI Basketball Federation, noted that he was happy to attend the launch of the 2017 league for a number of reasons. “Envision your mind and think of the NBA,” he said.

“I don’t know if anyone has heard of the USA Federation, but they are the governing body of all basketball in the [United] States and that is the role my Federation has in this Territory. Our job isn’t to put on local leagues but to govern all Bbasketball from grassroots to senior levels. 3 on 3, representative participation, and leagues like this make our jobs easier. So, we are happy to see leagues like this taking off.”

Malone added that he wanted more communication between sports generally and basketball leagues. “What we want as a federation is more sports unity, where we sit down at the beginning of the year and we discuss scheduling, use of facilities, how to get better results, less overlapping and better coordination, consistency of rules and we all meet the mandates of FIBA, our governing body,” concluded Mr Malone.

Meanwhile, registration for the 5th Annual Julian Fraser Save the Seed League closes July 7, 2017 and once that is completed the dates for the draft picks will be announced as well as the date for the coaches and managers' meeting.

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