New executive leadership look to New Providence basketball
t is time for a new era to begin in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA). I emphasize that the time is ripe for a positive change because new administrations in recent decades have not meant that.
According to my young friend and colleague, Simba French, and his detailed article, James Price and his slate of officers swept into office this past Wednesday night.
Now in control of the affairs of basketball in the capital island are the following: Kevin Johnson, as 1st vice; Don Culmer as 2nd vice; Kevin McPhee as 3rd vice; Ryan Turnquest as 4th vice; Treasurer Sophia Hunt; Secretary Rochelle Kemp; Assistant Treasurer Perry Thompson; Assistant Secretary Rhodnia Johnson; PR Officer Moses Johnson; Commissioner Anthony Rolle; and Assistant Commissioner Terrence McSweeney.
Price is confronted by a tall order. There is no doubt that the NPBA has been kept going for many years by respective administrations. The NPBA came into being when the Bahamas Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) transitioned into a true national parent body as the federation.
The reality is though, that the popularity of basketball under the NPBA has waned. High school basketball is much more popular. This is in contrast to yesteryear when senior league basketball under BABA drew hundreds of fans to every game. Matches in the championship rounds were always filled to capacity, actually over-run with fans, wanting to be a part of the experience.
Of course, that was a time when there was no competition from international sports. Network sports programs were not a negative factor for BABA at all. The crowds came in great numbers. That height of basketball competition locally has not been recaptured and Price is tasked with the job, prioritized by Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) Chief Mario Bowleg, of making the NPBA productive and more attractive to fans.
Bowleg calls for an “upward movement” but acknowledges that the federation must help. It is good that he has that recognition, because it is the federation that really is the bottom line factor for all national basketball.
Basketball has the same problem that hampers other peer national sports disciplines. Federations ought to begin copying their international parent bodies. Each has a strong marketing arm, geared for promoting, projecting and connecting the respective commodities to a vibrant fan base.
It has been proven that local federations are seriously lacking in that department. In a related area, public relations officers have not demonstrated the enthusiasm and tenacity of those in past years. The expectation is for the sports media to do their work.
Events after events unfold; league activities go on; yet PR officers fail to compile the information, complete with photographs and pertinent statistics, to pass on to sports media personnel, appropriately prepared for presentation to the public. They make up a lazy bunch these days, refusing to own the responsibility of continually showcasing their organizations.
This is the backdrop from which Price will find himself operating, and trying to bring about a change in the NPBA.
Time will tell, just how successful he will be.
Nevertheless, best wishes to Price and his team!
– To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.