MIES - FIBA's Foundation, the IBF, has been organising and working with a number of Caribbean islands in an effort to host the inaugural IBF's Lesser Antilles Youth 3x3 Basketball Tournament.
To prepare for this memorable occasion, all of the region's countries were invited to organise national qualifiers for girls and boys under the age of 18 during the period spanning from May to November 2016. With 175 teams and over 600 players participating, the first phase proved a huge success. Youths from 15 different countries have completed their qualifiers and successfully earned a spot in the international final.
Qualified team from Curaçao
The island of Saint Lucia has been chosen to host the Finals of this prestigious event during the last weekend of February 2017. With the IBF's financial support, the winners of each national event have been invited to the grand finale. With the Saint Lucia Basketball Federation assisted by the country's Department of Youth & Sports, the IBF will be able to count on ground support to successfully host the 3x3 tournament in the early part of next year.
Saint Lucia's winners will have home court advantage come the final in February 2017
For many, being a part of this initiative and a team in the final tournament, is a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel abroad and be part of an international event. To some, it is also their moment to shine and represent their homeland. The IBF will also seize the opportunity to organise a youth leadership workshop with the teams present in order to share their experiences, bring back the inspiration and knowledge to help and sensitise other children/players/family members in their community, schools and organisations.
Leslie Collymore, President of the Saint Lucia Basketball Federation (SLBF), said: "3x3 basketball is an important development tool on our island and in the region. We are very happy to host the final and look forward to being the first organizer of this important initiative."
The IBF's main goal is to use basketball as a vector for change. The Foundation hopes to make an impact throughout the world but to focus on underprivileged regions. The aim of this project is to stimulate local and international basketball activity in these Islands and, in the words of IBF President Yvan Mainini, "to enable intercultural exchanges between youngsters of both genders."