Dominica's Basketball Trios
JUMP BALL No. 85. By Arlington James
Over the 55 years of our National Basketball League we have witnessed scores of teams enter and exit, a few capturing championships along the way and others not even winning a match in an entire season.
We have also seen a few basketball centres which each presented a fairly impressive slate of teams that participated in different levels of the national league. Centres/Communities such as Grand Bay, Goodwill, Roseau Valley, Soufriere-Scott's Head each had more than ten teams that participated in the national league over the years. Individually, some of those centres sometimes also fielded at least three (3) teams in the national league in one season.
Further, six (6) basketball "clubs", each had three or more teams participating in the national league over their lifetime. Pros and Hoyas lead the way, each with 4 teams, while Blazers, Flames, Portsmouth/Raiders, Prowlers and Wolverines, each fielded 3 teams in DABA competitions over their individual lifetimes. Each of the clubs fielded teams in the Senior Division (Division I), Junior or Intermediate Division (a.k.a. Division II, later named Division I), and Division III (a.k.a. Juniors, later renamed Division II). Pros, however, also had a team in the Women's Division whilst Hoyas also participated in the 16 & Under Division.
Clubs with 3 Teams in League At Same Time: Interestingly, three basketball clubs each simultaneously fielded three teams in the national league.
Pros: We tip-off with Sout' City Pros who, in addition to having the highest aggregate of teams participate in DABA's leagues (14), also had three teams participating in any one year during four seasons, viz. 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Pros debuted in the league's Senor Division in 1973 and a decade later (1983) they were represented by teams in the Senior Division, Division III and the Women's Division (Pros Sisters). The club presented the same trio of teams in 1985 and 1986. However, come 1987 it was an all-men affair, with Pros teams competing in Divisions I, II and III.
Pros Senior copped the Division I League championships in 1974 and 1983; Pros III bagged the 1983 Junior League Championship; and Pros Sisters did a 3-peat, capturing the Women's League Championship in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
Hoyas: Dribbling up to Pottersville, Hoyas made their first appearance in the national league in 1987, in Division III. The following year (1988) Hoyas III captured the 1988 League Championship in the Juniors Division whilst Hoyas 16 & Under won the Knockout championship in that division that year.
The club next added teams in the Senior and Intermediate Divisions in 1990 but was represented by three teams, viz. Hoyas I, Hoyas II and Hoyas III in only that season.
The year 1991 was another important one for the Hoyas Club, as Hoyas I captured the Division I League championship while Hoyas II secured the League Championship in the Intermediate Division.
The following year (1992), Hoyas II bagged both League and Knockout championships in the Intermediate Division.
It should be noted that following the Hoyas trio running the court in 1990, Hoyas III disintegrated, and Hoyas I and Hoyas II played simultaneously in the league for six years, 1991 through 1996 – Hoyas Intermediates final year in the DABA.
Hoyas Senior, on the other hand, who had modified their name to Georgetown Hoyas bowed out of existence at the end of the 2003 season.
Portsmouth/Raiders: Bounce-passing to Gwantans, the third 'club' to be included in that special grouping of clubs which fielded three teams in the national league in any one season is Portsmouth/Raiders.
The first team from Portsmouth to enter the national league debuted in the Intermediate Division in 1986, registering as Portsmouth and two years later (1988) they changed their name to Raiders. A team from Possie first played in the Senior Division as Raiders, in 1991 and modified their name to Portsmouth Raiders in 1995. That was the same year that a women's team from that community registering as Portsmouth Raiders, debuted in the national league.
Portsmouth/Raiders also had a strong presence in the league during two seasons when they were represented by three teams in both years. There were Portsmouth Raiders teams in the Senior, Intermediate and Women's Divisions in 1995 and 1996.
One of the Portsmouth/Raiders teams brought home some silverware to Gwantans. In 1990 Raiders, the only team from the club playing in the national league that year did a double, capturing both League and Knockout Championships in Division II.
Remarks: Those three basketball "trio clubs" viz. Pros, Hoyas and Raiders, all added interesting chapters to Dominica's basketball history. Information sourced mainly from archived newspapers. Jump Ball THANKS Yannik for his assistance.