For you, Sir: Miami Heat NBA player, James Jones, presenting Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, with a basketball??during a courtesy call. (Picture by S. Rowe)

If Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, gets his wish, an increased number of young Barbadians could benefit from basketball clinics with National Basketball Association (NBA) players next year.

Mr. Lashley expressed this desire yesterday at his Constitution Road, St. Michael, office, when NBA Miami Heat player, James Jones, paid him a courtesy call. Those present included Deputy Permanent Secretary, Beverley Weekes; local organisers of the JHoops Clinic, Terry Inniss and Mark Foster; and Jones’ mother-in-law, Dawnay St. John, and cousin, Mike Mitchell.

The Minister thanked Mr. Jones for hosting the annual clinic, now in its second year, and expressed the hope that his Ministry could work with the local organisers to expand it, so more young people would be involved. With that in mind, he urged the basketball player to encourage more of his colleagues to visit Barbados next year and participate in the camp.????????????????????????????????????????????????

Mr. Lashley reiterated that "the opportunity and potential of sports are limitless" and the island had to broaden its economic base and diversify now.

Mr. Jones said he recognised the talent on these shores four years ago when he visited and played with some youngsters. By the second year, he added, he was motivated to return yearly and work with the youth to develop the sport here.

The NBA player described those who participated in the two-day clinic as eager and attentive to learn the fundamentals of the sport.

Mr. Inniss thanked the Minister for his commitment, saying this country had not moved with the world when it came to sports. "The world sees it [sports] as business and we still see it as games," he bemoaned.??

Mr. Jones left the island today, after spending one week. saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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