New U-17 basketball TD targets Olympics
Wayne Dawkins of P.H.A.S.E. 1 Academy, the newly appointed technical director of Jamaica's under-17 basketball, is targeting the Olympic Games with the plans of his recent position.
Already very active in the development of local players through his E1 Basketball Leagues, Dawkins said he is honoured to be integral in the national development of players.
"It's very exciting, I think it's a greater responsibility. When you're doing stuff for yourself and your company, you know the level of accountability is not as high as when you have a responsibility to a whole nation and people around the world of Jamaican descent. I'm really looking forward to making a lot of Jamaicans proud," Dawkins expressed.
His first assignment will be to prepare the boys for the Centrobasket Under-17 Championship in Belize City, Belize, scheduled from July 26-30.
He said this is a stepping stone to achieving greater things, as his ultimate goal is to get Jamaica to the Olympics.
"Right now, we are almost ranked 200th in the world, and the women's side is doing much better, but the goal is to get to the Olympics. The goal is to develop a group of young Jamaican talent that can get us to the Olympics in the next six to eight years," Dawkins said.
Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA) President Paulton Gordon said Dawkins is the right man for this job because of his years of experience and other qualities.
"One of his strengths is working with youth players. He has done it in Canada and has done it fairly well. He has been doing some programmes that have been enhancing our youth development, so we thought it was a good opportunity to engage him, to get him in our grassroots and youth development," Gordon said.
He expects Dawkins and his team, on their first assignment, to do well, despite the confirmation of the competition being recently announced, allowing a short window of preparation.
"We will start the selection process soon... it will be a nice blend of local and international players," Gordon said.