Basketball News clips - 1960s & '70s (Part II)
JUMP BALL No 106. By Arlington James
Part I of the article presented basketball news clips for the period 1963 through 1968. The article continues below.
1969 * By the time the 1969 basketball season tipped-off the number of teams in the State League had doubled from the initial four, to now eight. A Division II or Junior Division is introduced and the first match played at that level was between two debutants, St. Mary's Academy II and Falcons. The other 'junior' teams that year were Dominica Grammar School and Nationals, both of whom had played in the then single-division league the previous season.
Falcons, playing in Division II, are the island's first Junior Division basketball champs and like Cardinals their seniors, capture double championships that season.
Cardinals suffer their first two defeats in their two-season history: the first from a "Rest" team at the Season Opener, and the other from Atoms, the 1967 League Champs in a Division I game early in the season.
D.A.S.A. organises a very successful 28-mile fund-raising Walk-a-thon in support of an overseas tour by the Island Team. The route: Roseau to Hillsborough Bridge at Layou, to Pont Cassé Round-about, and back to Roseau via Springfield. The fun-filled event, dubbed 'Belle Marcher Pont Cassé' attracted some 430 participants including many non-basketballers and Convent High School girls; it netted a handsome grand total of $2,300.
The Dominica Island Team undertakes a very successful tour to St. Kitts, winning their three matches played by double-digit margins – including two blow-outs: 69-33 against St. Kitts' League Champions Celtics; and 72-32, then 54-37 versus the St. Kitts Island Team.
The first North American team to play on Dominican soil, a U.S. Intercollegiate Team engages the Dominica State Team in a friendly encounter. As expected, we were no match for those 7-footers as our guests completely overpowered the State Team by a 69-Pts blow-out (104-35) and in the process restricting the Nature Islanders to scoring only 11 points in the second half of that encounter.
1970 * Dominica's 'national' basketball coach, Cardinals' Wilmoth LeBlanc participates in a short coaching attachment in Miami, Florida, being the first Dominican to attend such a programme.
- The Dominica Island Team undertakes a tour to Martinique where they play a series of three matches, the first against Martinique's champions Hirondelle and the other two against the St. Pierre champs, L'Assaut.
The team which was managed, coached and captained by Wilmoth LeBlanc won the second match but lost the other two.
1971 * The first Dominican basketball player to secure an athletic scholarship, Bernard 'Kiwi' Thomas of Cardinals and the State Team, begins attending and playing for Ellison Junior College in Florida, USA for two years.
- The DASA Basketball Sub-committee discloses plans for coaching sessions for teams, as well as Rules Interpretation sessions for referees and players to encourage uniform and proper interpretation of the rules of the game at all times.
1972 * Basketball competitions relocate from the St. Mary's Academy grounds to the newly constructed public court at the Windsor Park.
- Pros basketball team is formed in Grand Bay, but debut in the State League the following year. They are the second basketball team to emerge from Sout' City, subsequently inspired the formation of many other teams from that village, Dubique and Pichelin, and experienced greater longevity than their predecessors and competitors. They took their final jump shot in 2014.
1973 *Dominica Grammar School becomes the first team to inflict a defeat on Cardinals in four seasons; that loss was Cardinals' second in the League Competition since they entered the basketball arena in 1968, having lost to Atoms in 1969.
Pros becomes the first team to register a triple-digit score at the Windsor Park when they made minced-meat of St. Mary's Academy Sharks with a score of 106-39, only 11 points short of tripling their opponents' score.
A first attempt to form a Dominica Women's Representative Team is made even in the absence of a Women's League, and four years before the first Women's team enters Dominica's basketball area.
Electrons organizes what would have been Dominica's first major basketball tournament - a West Indies Basketball competition, with 5 overseas teams expected from three countries: a Venezuelan College Team, Banelot Men's and Women's teams from Guadeloupe, and Gold Stars Men's and Women's teams from Martinique. The local participants in that Tourney would have comprised Cardinals, a Dominica Representative Women's Team and hosts Electrons.
Unfortunately, on account of the unfavourable political climate existing in Dominica at the time (Civil Servants' strike, State-of-Emergency, etc), plans for the tournament had to be aborted and the latter was called off.
"Chapter" concludes next edition