FOLLOWING up on the changes made to the structure of the game of basketball from their 2014 Extraordinary Congress, International Basketball Association (FIBA) has embarked on a global drive to ensure that their member federations are all on the same page.Victor Mansure, FIBA’s Assistant Executive Director (for the Americas), is on a three-day visit to Guyana, where he will meet with key stakeholders of the game, spreading the word of inclusiveness under the ‘One FIBA’ initiative.Mansure, at a press conference yesterday, said that his visit is in keeping with changes that FIBA underwent since their 2014 Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.“I’m here so we could get a complete understanding of what’s going on in each country, so we’ll know exactly what’s going on and how to approach it; that’s what I’m here,” Mansure told the gathering of media and other officials yesterday.He added that “this is the 10th country I’ve visited in a year and a half, Guyana will be the last country in the continent (of South America), so we’ve wrapped up all 43 (countries) in the Americas.“We just want to know what we have, what we don’t have, what’s important, and we’ll put that in a report. At the FIBA in May, we’ll start establishing workshops, individual plan for each country, so expect FIBA, to submit to Guyana in the next couple of months a developmental plan based on the priorities of this visit.”In 2014, a strategic FIBA development programme was established, one of the most strategic of them being the ‘National Federation Development and Support’.It is FIBA’s belief, according to Mansure, that the International body is only as strong as their National Federations.Mansure said that 2017 marks the beginning of a new era for basketball all over the world as FIBA’s showpiece, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, will now be held in 2019 (in China), with the International Federation shifting away from hosting their major event in the same calendar year as FIFA and other major sporting events.The move, he said, is to ensure major support is given to National teams during the six windows of qualification which will take place over a 15-month period.However, special consideration was given to the countries falling under the umbrella of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC).Mansure met with officials of the government, the referees and the GABF on his first day. He will travel to Linden today for a meeting with the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) and would further continue his assessment before departing on Friday.Vice-president of the GABF, Michael Singh, said that FIBA’s visit is timely, keeping in contrast with what his Federation has been trying to accomplish, especially over the last two years.Singh said the GABF will be looking forward to the next few days with Mansure and is anxious about the new approach taken by FIBA to better enhance the game of basketball in Guyana.
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