Young talent few in new NBL - Nattie

May 17, 2018
UWI Running Rebels' Kemo Gordon (left) stays close to Urban Knights' Fernando Young in the National Basketball League at the National Arena on Saturday February 10, 2018.

National Basketball League (NBL) director, Marland Nattie, says the young talent coming to the fore in the first National Basketball League (NBL) in five years has been disappointing, but expected.

Nattie said the absence of the league for five straight seasons stymied the growth and development of young players, and now there is a big disparity between the seasoned campaigners and the young players in the league.

"My only concern is the amount of young players coming into the league. It being out for five years, there is not a lot of new talent on show. The core players are still there, but the young players that are there are learning. It's just to create the process and get a lot more young players coming in," he said.

Despite coming up short on the sponsorship dollars NBL had projected, Nattie, however, said the tournament has gone off smoothly.

"We played the majority of our Kingston (Southern) games in the National Arena, which under normal circumstances wouldn't happen, so kudos to The Sports Development Foundation and Independence Park for the consideration.




"The discipline has been really commendable, although we have a perennial problem with referee shortage. Dalton Taylor, the VP for technical (Committee) has already put in plans, and come November we should be in a better position with referees and table officials," he said.

Meanwhile, with all the conference champions decided, the play-offs get going this Sunday with two quarter-finals, each at the National Arena and the MoBay Cricket Club.

The qualifiers for the play-offs are St George's Slayers, UWI Running Rebels, Pembroke Hall and Urban Knights, from the southern conference. Granville and MoBay Cricket Club represent the western conference, and Portland Pure Playaz from the east, and Team AAHH from the central region.

Nattie added that: "We have done things a little differently this year in that the play-off games will only be at two venues: MoBay Cricket Club and the National Arena. We have done that to ensure the fans are comfortable in terms of proper seating, bathroom facilities, and so on. It should be a great situation for the fans coming out to watch the NBL after five years," he added.

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