November 3rd, 2022, saw Dominica observing her 44th Anniversary of Independence. A couple of days later, the island's eastern district was pounded mercilessly by over 14 inches of rain dumped by a tropical weather system which resulted in severe flooding, numerous landslides, mudslides, communities becoming temporarily isolated and inaccessible by road, and even the loss of one human life. Immediately after the Independence Celebrations, Dominicans also witnessed the announcement of the date for the country's next General Elections, just under three years after the ruling party had been voted into office.

However, it will be noted on Dominica's sporting calendar that from Wednesday, 2nd through Saturday, November 5th 2022, basketball enthusiasts witnessed the staging of the inaugural edition of the Kwéyòl Invitational Basketball Championships (KIBC-2022).

A brief opening ceremony included short addresses delivered by the President of the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association (DABA), Peter Rickets and the President of the Dominica Olympic Committee, Billy Doctrove. This was followed by the DABA honouring Ms Alice Jno. Jules for her pioneering work in women's basketball in Dominica in the 1970s. Then it was JUMP BALL time!

KIBC-2022 was the first regional basketball tournament held at the recently commissioned Massacre Indoor Sports Facility and the first such tournament to be held in Dominica since October 2012 when the Nature Island hosted the 2nd edition of the Sugar-Creole Basketball Festival; that festival involved Martinique's, St. Kitts' and Dominica's National Teams, as well as the Dominica National Under-23 Team.

There were occasions in the past when Dominica regularly hosted sub-regional basketball tournaments. In 1994, the Nature Isle staged two such competitions, the OECS Champion-of-Champions Tournament and the OECS Championships. Hence, KIBC-2022 was a welcomed end to the 10-year time-out for regional basketball in Dominica.

TOURNAMENT ORGANISERS: KIBC-2022 was organised jointly by the 767 Sports Club, the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association and Sports In Nature.

PARTICIPATING TEAMS & TERRITORIES OF ORIGIN: KIBC-2022 brought together six teams (3 women, three men) from three Kwéyòl-speaking Caribbean territories and one island with a sizeable population of Dominicans. The women's teams, which included two combined teams, and their territories of origin were as follows: Golden Star (Martinique), Wings Sports Club/Cyclones Sports Club Combined (Antigua) and Young Student Athletes (YSA)/767 Sports Club Combined (Dominica).

The members of the male teams participating in the tournament were all under Under-20-year-olds, and the teams comprised: Phoenicks Sports Club (French St. Martin), YSA Washers (Dominica) and 767 Sports Club Dominators (Dominica).

OBJECTIVES: According to Dunstan "Maggie" Peters, President of 767 Sports Club, the main objectives of KIBC-2022 were:

(a) to reinstate interest in women's basketball on the local scene;

(b) to showcase the basketball skills of the Under-20 boys for possible acceptance into high schools and colleges in the USA;

(c) to allow the visiting players and management to experience a taste of Dominica's Kwéyòl culture during the country's Independence Celebrations; and

(d) to foster interpersonal relationships between basketball players in the Kwéyòl sub-region.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT AND RESULTS: The 4-day tournament was organised around round-robin competitions in the Women's and Under-20 Boys segments, followed by the top two women's teams meeting in a final and the top two men's teams meeting in their final to determine the overall champions in the women's and men's segments respectively. Two games were played nightly.

In the finals, Golden Star of Martinique defeated 767 Sports Club/YSA Washers Combined of Dominica to emerge as the women's champion. At the same time, Phoenicks of St. Martin won over 767 Dominators of Dominica to capture the Under-20 Boys Championship. The Most Valuable Player selected among the Girls' teams were Tania Boucand of Golden Star, while Sherron Brooks of Phoenicks received the Men's MVP award.

LOOKING BACK AT THE GAMES: All eight games scheduled for the tournament were played and completed, four among the women's teams and the same among the men's.

The following are the results of the individual matches:-

Game 1: (Women) – Golden Star (67 Pts) vs 767 Sports Club/YSA Washers Combined (41)

Game 2: (Under-20 Boys) – Phoenicks (106) vs YSA Washers (55)

Game 3: (Under-20 Boys) – Phoenicks (72) vs 767 Dominators (70)

Game 4: (Women) – 767 Sports Club/YSA Washers Combined (72) vs Wings Sports Club/Cyclones Combined (27)

Game 5: (Women) – Golden Star (74) vs Wings Sports Club/Cyclones Combined (10)

Game 6: (Under-20 Boys) – 767 Dominators (91) vs YSA Washers (61)

Game 7: (Women's Final) – Golden Star (71) vs 767 Sports Club/YSA Washers Combined (37)

Game 8: (Under-20 Boys Final) – Phoenicks (100) vs 767 Dominators (44).

Nine hundred ninety-eight points were scored in the tournament's eight games, 399 by the women's teams and 599 by the men's teams, at combined rates of 99.75 Pts per game in the women's matches and 149.75 PPG in the Under-20 Boys encounters.

Concludes next edition