B-Ball Newsclips: 1980s & '90s
JUMP BALL No 108(Part I)by Arlington James
This is the second 'chapter' in a mini-series of News Clips on Dominica's basketball and will be presented in four parts. 'Chapter I' covered the 1960s and '70s.
1980 * The National League is up and running months after Hurricane David devastated the country. The participating teams in that year's league included Ambassadors, Cardinals, Flames, Harks, Lions, Pioneers, Police, Pros, and others.
1981 * Dominica participates in the inaugural CARICOM Basketball Tournament which was staged in Guyana. Lennox Jervier and Oliver Burton feature as Dominica's two 'superstars' whilst Jervier is selected on the 15-man CARICOM All-Star Team.
In Dominica's three games we lost to Guyana (53-93) and Antigua (65-88), but tied with Barbados (77-77).
1982 * A total of twenty (20) teams coming from six communities compete in four (4) Divisions of the DABA as follows: Division I (7 teams), Divisions II (6), Division III (4) and Women's Division (3). That may have been the year when the Women's Division first bounced off.
Division I Play-Off Championship involving all senior division teams is introduced.
Cardinals are crowned triple-champions in Division I, capturing the League, Knockout and Play-Off Championships and becomes the first team to perform such a feat in Dominica's basketball.
Also that year, double-champions emerge in two other DABA divisions as Green City and St. Mary's Academy capture the Division II and Division III League and Knockout Championships respectively.
Dominica hosts Logan Trojans from Logan College in Missouri, USA. The visitors defeated the National Team twice, and a DABA Select Team. However, Cardinals were triumphant in their encounter with a 68-42 score, and becomes the first local team to defeat an American team in Dominica's basketball history. This was considered as "One of the biggest sporting events staged in Dominica in 1982".
Lennox Xavier (Jervier) of Harks surpasses, by 2 Pts, the highest player-score in a Division I match of 58 Pts, set by Lambert Henderson (Deceased) in 1978. 'Lenny' burnt Lions with 60 Pts in his team's 90-Pt basket-spree, out-scoring his opponents combined score of 44 by 16 Pts.
1983 * Basketball continues to spread and teams participating in the national league now have their bases in Fond Canie, Fond Colé, Goodwill, Grand Bay, Roseau, Trafalgar and two educational institutions – an indication of the growth and decentralisation of the sport on the island. Roseau and Grand Bay fielded teams in all four Divisions of the League.
For the first time ever a basketball team comprising non-Dominicans, Medics, from the Medical School participates in the National League but does not complete the season.
The second basketball court in the south of the island is constructed, this one in the village of Soufriere.
The first-ever basketball competitions to be staged in the twin-community of Soufriere/Scott's Head are organised by the Keep Fit Club of Soufriere. Rebels from Soufriere captures all three trophies: Ball-o-Rama, League and Knockout.
Three of the four National League championship trophies are won by teams from Grand Bay, viz. Sisters (Women's Division); Pros Jr. (Division III) and Pros (Division I).
Flames (Senior) captures three team trophies in DABA's senior division: Knockout, Play-Off and the Paul Green Trophy.
The Dominica Amateur Basketball Association calls off the Division II Knockout Finals between St. Mary's Academy and Green City, "because the teams failed to take to the court when the match was scheduled".
1984 * Dominica successfully stages the inaugural OECS Basketball Tournament. Five teams, viz. Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis participate. Antigua & Barbuda emerge champions with Dominica in the runner-up position. These latter teams finished with similar Win-Loss records, i.e. 3 wins, 1 loss but Dominica having lost to Antigua in the final match had to settle for 2nd place.
- Sisters from Grand Bay becomes the first team to capture consecutive League Championships in the Women's Division.
1985 * A record 29 teams separated into three divisions vie for championship honours in the six competitions of the DABA basketball season. There was a record 10 teams in Division I, a record 13 in Division II, and a record 6 in Division III.
A record sixteen NEW teams debut in the National League and are distributed as follows: Division I – 3 teams, Division II – 10 and Division III - 3.
Double championships are captured in the League's three Divisions: Cardinals won the League and Knockout in Division I, Eagles II in Division II, and Ogan Stars in Division III, the latter team becoming the first team from Grand Bay to capture double-championships. Three years prior double-champions had emerged in the two divisions of the national league.
BACK ROW: Patrick Pemberton, Lennox 'Lenny' Jervier, Anicette 'Govan' Moore, Peter 'Black' Skerrit, Julie 'Juba' Francis, Bernard 'Kiwi' Thomas, Wilmoth LeBlanc (Coach) CROUCHING: Michael 'Mikey' Casimir, Oliver 'Neckers' Burton, Stephen 'Homo' Bellot, Julius 'Boss Boy' Cuffy. STOOPING: Carlton Bernard (Deceased), Irving 'Tosh' Williams, Lambert Henderson (Deceased), Mickey Joseph, Robert 'Baba' Joseph