THE National Basketball Federation of TT (NBFTT) screening sessions for major upcoming tournaments have been halted, despite the Government recently stating that national teams would be allowed to train during the covid19 pandemic.
In February, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Americas Zone Board named TT among a list of 25 confirmed national federations eligible to compete in the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup 2021.
The AmeriCup, carded for November 2021, will include 12 men’s and 12 women’s national teams.
Since April 22, the NBFTT has held screening sessions throughout the country to find the best available talent in the country for the FIBA 3X3 tournament.
President of NBFTT Claire Mitchell told Newsday on Wednesday that permission was granted to host the screening sessions.
Mitchell said an attempt was made to stop a screening session previously as Police showed up at a screening session at the Maloney Indoor Basketball Complex, but the NBFTT provided the Police with a letter from the Ministry of Health proving they had permission.
A screening session was carded for the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Pleasantville on Wednesday, but it never took place.
Mitchell said, “The screening has been suspended by the NBFTT based on information from the Mon Repos Police Station saying that we don’t have any authority to run that screening. I am waiting on official correspondence from them to that effect.”
At a covid19 media briefing on Monday, the Prime Minister reiterated that national teams are allowed to train.
Among the teams training in recent months are the TT Red Force cricket team, the TT men’s national senior footballers and local track and field athletes preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Discussing the covid19 protocols being followed during the basketball screening, Mitchell said, “Basketball had to do their protocols and get it approved by the Ministry of Health and that is the only way we would have gotten that letter because we had to have the protocols and the protocols are being followed.”
Mitchell said she planned to meet with players on Wednesday to discuss with them the suspension of the screening.
Mitchell said protocols such as physical distancing, mask-wearing and washing hands are being practised.
Mitchell is also trying to enforce the point to the local basketballers that protocols must be maintained at all times and not just when they come to the screening.
“Obeying the protocols is not just reserved when you come for training. You have to obey the protocols at home...stay home, don’t go anywhere, wash your hands. You have to do all of that at home.”