Sitting in the President's Chair
Jump Ball No. 52(Part III).By Arlington James
Part II of the article presented former DABA Presidents Blaize Jones, Valentine Cuffy, Al Monelle, Udean Grove, Mickey Joseph and Davidson Baron; the teams with which they played in the national league and their terms of office.
The article concludes below:-
Yehudi John played 'ball with five teams in Dominica's national basketball league. Some years ago he was a civilian member of Police Sports Club and subsequently he played with Black Knights, Ole Skool, Hurricanes from St. Joseph and No Look, not necessarily in that order.
John also coached Secondary Schools – later renamed Inter-Schools – in the national league, and Dominica Boys and Dominica Girls Representative Teams at the Windward Islands School Games.
In terms of basketball administration, Yehudi was elected to the post of President of the DABA in 2014 but tendered his resignation after one year in the position. He succeeded Mickey Joseph in the latter's most recent stint at the helm and was succeeded by Jerry Williams.
Jerry Williams is one of Dominica's Basketball Presidents who did not play in Dominica's national basketball league. However, he was quite involved in the sport in Antigua and played with Challengers when they represented Antigua & Barbuda in the 1994 OECS Champion-of-Champions Tournament which was staged here.
In the area of national basketball administration, Jerry held the post of President of the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association for four years, from June 2015 to March 2019. He took over the reins of DABA's administration from Yehudi John and chest-passed to Dunstan Peters.
Dunstan 'Maggie' Peters debuted in the National League as a founder-member of the 'original' X-Men which competed in DABA's Intermediate Division in the 1990s. Several years later 'Maggie' formed and served as player/coach of Maggnificos which participated in Division II (third level) of the national league, and later Young Ballerz which competed in the second level division.
In terms of basketball administration, Maggie is the current President of the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association, having assumed that position from March 2019. His term of office will be for four years.
A few years before heading the Association Peters had served on the DABA Executive as Public Relations Officer.
Remarks: Compiling the notes on Dominica's Basketball Presidents proved more of a challenge than was anticipated. In the absence of annual reports for most of the 1974-2019 period, one had to rely on the Press and the memory of individuals, and it came to the realization, understandably, that some of the persons who headed the DABA, particularly in the first half of the life of the Association, could not remember the exact period(s) that they had served at the helm.
However, that said, it must be noted that 10 of our thirteen Basketball Presidents to date made their contributions to national basketball as players. Some played in junior and/or senior divisions while three, viz. LeBlanc, Joseph and Jones went on to represent Dominica on the senior Dominica National Team; Mickey also played on Dominica's National Youth team in 1978.
A few had also coached, some up to the level of the national team.
Five of the Presidents, viz. Baron, Cuffy, Green, Joseph and Robinson served for multiple terms, though not necessarily consecutively. Cuffy however, did not complete his second term, having vacated the chair during the second year of his tenure. John and Grove are two other DABA President who resigned from the office.
It must be noted further that although the playing of basketball is not a prerequisite to be elected as President of the DABA, to date three of those individuals who sat in the Basketball President's chair (Fontaine, Udean, Williams) had not played in the national league, while two of those three former Presidents (Udean, Fontaine) are not basketball players.
Every Basketball President to date contributed towards the overall development of basketball at the national level in Dominica while heading the Association. This is manifested in national basketball competitions (Leagues, Knock-Outs, Play-Offs, Off-Seasons); hosting of and participating in sub-regional tournaments (Windward Islands, OECS, OECS Champion-of-Champions, Sugar-Creole, etc);
We have also seen Dominica's hosting of friendlies; participating in regional basketball tournaments (CARICOM, CARICOM Junior, Caribbean Under-16), introduction of women's basketball; collaboration in staging the inaugural Secondary Schools League; spread and decentralization of the game; players securing basketball scholarships, etc, etc.
Jump Ball salutes all twelve gentlemen and the lone lady who "called the shots" from the President's chair in Dominica's basketball movement thus far.
Acknowledging Willie (1974-1976); Ron (1976-1982); Robo (1982-1984, 2000-2002, 2008-2010); Fontaine (1984-1986); Arrow (1986-1988); Val (1988-1990, 1997-1998); Al (1990-1992); Mickey (1992-1996, 1999-2000, 2012-2014), Udean (1996-1997), Dave (2002-2008, 2010-2012), Yehudi (2014-2015), Jerry (2015-2019), and Maggie (2019 to …).
Jump Ball wishes the current President and the rest of the DABA Executive all the best in their basketball endeavors.