The sport of basketball in Jamaica has really come of age. The interest in the game has been galvanized by the NBA games which Jamaicans constantly follow on cable channels. Some even became big fans of some of the major stars such as Michael Jordon, Coby Bryan and our own Jamaican born Patrick Ewing. There are also other Jamaican-born basketball players such as Rumeal Robinson, Samardo Samuels, Wayne Sappleton and Gary Voce.
There is a Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association (JABA) which was established in the 1970’s following the restarting of school basketball leagues in 1971. The JABA players are selected from the most talented school basketball players in the Open League of that year.
Most of the basketball action is in the capital, Kingston. Recently, there have been efforts and initiatives taken in an attempt to elevate the game in Jamaica to the next level. The Jamaica Basketball Development, Inc. stated that one of its main goals is to development young Jamaican men and women student basketball in Jamaica. Another great initiative is a recent launch of Flow National Basketball League started in February 2011. There are 27 teams competing in this new league.
The Jamaica National Basketball Team
The Jamaica National Basketball Team is the basketball team that represents Jamaica in international competitions. The team finished in seventh place in the 2006 Centrobasket, with a record of 0-3. They did however win the 7th place game against Costa Rica 100-57. In the 2010 Centrobasket, led by Roy Hibbert, they finished in fifth place with a record of 2-2. In the FIBA CBC Championship they have enjoyed much more success, winning four gold medals in 1981, 1991, 2006, and 2010.
Andrew Whilby and Linval Brown are the only locally based players in Jamaica’s squad.
There are currently 4 regions which make up the league which are West NBL, South NBL, Eastern NBL, Central NBL and soon to come Northern NBL.
Here is a list of Basket Ball teams from Kingston Jamaica:
- Arnett Garden Rockers
- Blazing Panthers
- Denham Town Wizards
- Harbor View Lakers
- Jamaica Defense Force
- Link Up All Stars
- Portmore Flames
- Rainbow Storms
- Running Rebels
- St.George’s Slayers
- Tivoli All Stars
- Urban Knights