Meet The Champions: 1993-2004
JUMP BALL No. 93. (Part I. By Arlington James
The two preceding 'chapters' of this series, viz. 'Champions on Podiums' and 'Parade of Champions' collectively presented the many national basketball league championship teams who competed in Division I, Division II, Division III, Women's Division and the Under-16 Division. Those teams collectively won League, Knockout and/or Play-Off championships in the national basketball league between 1966 and 1992.
This chapter will cover the 12-year period spanning 1993 through 2004, a period when the basketball fraternity saw some major changes and developments in the national basketball league.
The Knockout competition was eliminated as of mid-1900s, with Cardinals and Running Rebels (Scott's Head) being the last two Knockout champions, in Divisions I (1994) and II (1995) respectively.
The Play-Off competition returned, but this time replacing the League competition as the competition of choice in the senior division.
DABA's Senior Division, which had been known as Division I from the League's inception was renamed 'Premier Division', Division II became Division I, and Division III was renamed Division II.
In order to avoid confusion, the Division II will be unofficially referred to as the Second Level Men's Division (2LMD) and Division III/Third Level Men's Division (3LMD) when necessary.
The Women's League was absent for six consecutive seasons during the 1993 through 2004 period, with the possibility of two additional years (2001 and 2002) with no ladies on the court.
Most importantly Cardinals who, in 1993 were then 25 years old, being made to hand the baton of supremacy in the basketball arena over to two younger teams, viz. Blazers and Knicks. Massacre-based Blazers captured a total of 6 League, Play-Off and Knockout championships between 1993 and 2004, whilst rivals Knicks won five Play-Off championships between 1998 and 2004.
Basketball and other sports moved out of Windsor Park in 2001, in order to make way for the construction of a sports stadium. Division I League Champions: Cardinals captured back-to-back Division I League Championships in 1993 and 1994 (their last such title), whilst new kids on the court, Blazers went up the podium in 1995.
Division I / Premier Division Play-Off Champions: Nine (9) Play-Off Championship competitions were held in Division I (later renamed Premier Division) between 1996 and 2004, with two teams sharing the honours almost equally. Knicks captured the championship five times, viz. 'back-to-back' in 1998 and 1999 and 'doing a three-peat' in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Meanwhile, Blazers won consecutive Play-Off championships in 1996 and 1997 and made come-backs in 2000 and 2004.
Division I Knock-Out Champions: Only three Knockout Championships were held during the period, i.e. 1993-1995. Blazers won the Knock-Out championship in 1993, and Cardinals enjoyed the limelight in 1994 and 1995 - their final championship in their history, although they continued playing until 2004.
Double Champions in Senior Division: Cardinals proudly took home both League and Knock-out Championship trophies in 1994 after performing that feat on several occasions in the past. That was the final year that they performed the 'double' in their history.
Division Ii/2lmd League Champions: The League competition in Division II/2LMD was staged at least 9 times during the 1993-2004 period and it turned out that no one team ruled the roost because at least seven different champions from various communities in Dominica reigned; information was unavailable for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Two teams won 'back-to-back' League Championships, with Marigot Sonics enjoying their space at the top of the podium in 1996 and 1997, whilst Clouds from Goodwill followed a few years later, in 2003 and 2004.
The five other teams who staked a claim to the League Championship in that Division were Hoyas II from Pottersville (1993), Dubique Stars (1994), Cowboys from Soufriere (1995), Venoms from Scott's Head (1998), Pacers from Pichelin (1999) and Bullets from Massacre (2000).
Division Ii Knockout Champions: As in Division I, the Knockout competition was held on only three occasions (1993 through 1995), with three different teams capturing the title. In order of their winning Hoyas II (1993), Pioneers (♂, 1994) and Running Rebels out of Scott's Head (1995) celebrated. The Knockout competition was never staged after 1995.
Double Champions in Division Ii: One team, Hoyas II, enjoyed double-championships in the three years when there were two championship trophies at stake. The youngsters from Pottersville won 'the double' in 1993, making them the last double-champion in the Division to date.
League Champions in Division III/3LMD: Information on the League Championship in Division III, a.k.a. the 3rd Level Men's Division during the period is available for only three seasons (1997 through 1999). There was no Division III from 1993 through 1996, in 2000, 2003 or 2004, whilst information is unavailable for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
The League championship title winners during the period were Panthers (1997), Sixers from Grand Bay (1997) and Wesley Renegades (1999).
Series concludes next edition.