Keziah Lewis, the Games coordinator for basketball at the Youth Games. CISNOC/21051803
A bright future awaits the Cook Islands following a successful Cook Islands Youth Games that showed a glimpse of the country’s next basketball standouts.
Cook Islands Basketball Federation (CIBF) gathered a total of 32 teams in the
largest event so far this year that included a continued promotion and
development of the booming 3x3 discipline.
squads in Under-13 and 24 in Under-18 age groups strutted their stuff in the
competition that helped promote the game in the country and in turn benefit the
federation’s goal of promoting the game in the country.
in this is the mission of incorporating basketball as a permanent part of the
country’s sporting calendar.
goal for us is to create and develop a consistent program to ensure that
basketball has a place within the Cook Islands sporting calendar,” said Keziah
Lewis, the Games coordinator for basketball in the Youth Games
it, however, will not be a walk in the park as the Cook Islands faces a dilemma
of lack of standard indoor basketball venues that are needed in honing future
national team players into the best they can be.
one, CIBF has already knocked on the doors of academic institutions by
launching School Programmes in which the federation visits various schools to
introduce development programs for interested kids and teens.
a member of the women's national team that competed in the Pacific Games
Women's Basketball and 3x3 event promised to give their best in providing
opportunities for players to compete around the country.
are also trying to work through the obstacles so that we can give the public
tournaments that they can enjoy. We will continue to find a way to make this
happen,” Lewis said.
CIBF is hoping for all these efforts to translate into another good showing in
the Polynesia Cup that was moved to February 2022 in Samoa, following a
championship finish in the women’s division in its inaugural edition in 2018.
feat paved the way for Cook Islands’ return to the Pacific Games the year after
following an eight-year absence.
its youth teams also participated in the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship – a
sign of their intent to bolster their youth programmes that are expected to
only reach greater heights with continuous development.
year our goal is to set up youth programs. We need to develop some youth
players to take over from our current national players. We need to start
developing local youth to take over from the players in the future,” Lewis