A DYING SPORT

by Kyle Williams | Mar 1, 2024 | General | 0 comments

(Getty Images)

Locally in Jamaica, the hardwood isn’t where you’d see many of our athletes as we are normally linked with football/soccer and track and field, but there are a lot of basketball enthusiasts in the country. During this piece, I spoke to one of them, a man by the name of Rodriques Roye and no I didn’t make a typo.

Rodriques is a former Kingston College student with avid knowledge of basketball and stands as one of the taller men in the country at 6ft. 3” at 25 years old, and plays recreational to maintain fitness. Conducting this interview, I uncovered some things from a different standpoint from my own which was interesting.

Q: “As a Jamaican, what made you develop the love you have for basketball and begin to follow the sport?”

A: “It came from my father. He was a big fan of Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing and after he introduced me I just watched it with the likes of LeBron and [Stephen] Curry nowadays. LeBron is what made me fall for it.”

(Basketball ball great and Jamaican Patrick Ewing)

Q: “What team do you support and why?”

A: “Not supported a team, just always followed LeBron but if I was to choose a team it would be the Lakers because of the duo of Shaq and Kobe.”

Q: “We do see our high school basketball competitions and how they are staged, but once that is over, a transition to the senior level is non-existent. What are your thoughts on the prospect of basketball developing in this country?”

A: “At the end of the day if you want to get something done it takes money, and when it comes to sports money is pushed from support, fans, etc. If the fanbase is low then it [support] will be as well. For instance, in track and field where we are world-renowned, the support is immense.

(Youngsters competing in a basketball competition)

Look at the athletics championships for high schools with viewership going international. Football is of lower support than track and field even though that is our love and then you have basketball. It has to start from the high school level.”

Q: “Who do you think is at fault for the poor transition from youth to senior level in the sport and not having prospects going forward in basketball?”

A: “I think it’s down to the association, [JABA]. I don’t think there is a good relationship between all levels. As much as it would be nice to keep it Jamaica-based and developed here, the NBA is the way to go, that’s where the money is. That should be the ultimate goal.”

Q: “NBA is indeed the way to go, but in terms of where in this country, the proper documentation is not readily accessed, do you think if JABA were to have a consistent program locally in the form of the National Basketball League (NBL), it would be able to draw scouts to even be interested enough to invite players to the combine to get drafted/selected?”

A: “Yeah! The question is how would it happen? If the league is developed enough that it can be broadcast for people to see it, then it would be easier because people won’t just fly here where nine times out of ten it is not the quality they are looking for. At the end of the day, we have to show credibility, we would need just one to break through.”

Q: “Rolling back the years, what would be your dream starting 5 of all-time?”

A: “Well, for my Center I’d put Shaq, [Point] guard will be Larry Bird, obviously MJ, and Kobe. Now I think I need some more defending and I think Pippen was a great defender but I have to go with my boy LeBron because he’s got it all, attack and defense.”

Rodriques’ team

C – Shaquille O’Neal
PF – Larry Bird
SF – LeBron James
SG – Kobe Bryant
PG – Michael Jordan

If you would like to hear the interview in full, head over to @KyleWilli31 on Twitter/X for the link.

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Well, I am 18 years old currently undergoing my Bachelors of Science in Media and communications. I'm currently in my first semester and I would like to be a sports analyst in the future. I am also from Jamaica. I would like to work at one of the biggest sports companies in the world (ESPN/SKY/BT) but everyone needs a start and I would love it if you were to give me that start.

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