With limited time for preparation and a lack of resources at their disposal, the Bahamas Senior Women’s National team has a quick turnaround to get ready for international competition.
National team head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin was in the capital the last two days to asses the progress of the team as they get set to participate in the Women’s Centrobasket Championship, July 12-16 in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
“We have a lot of work to do. Right now we are trying to make sure we can put the best team on the floor so our challenge is making sure we have the players available and that has been a big challenge for us so far,” she said, “But as far as our players their energy is great and I just appreciate their commitment.”
Under McPhee-McCuin’s leadership, the Bahamas finished with the gold medal at the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship and will automatically qualify for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean games in Barranquilla, Columbia.
Many of those players that have competed in the past two editions of the CBC Championships have been unavailable thus far for various reasons, and McPhee-McCuin is calling on increased funding to assist in facilitating a proper training camp.
“The team is all over the place. You have Jonquel in the WNBA, you have players playing collegiate basketball. They’re not all here and if they were, forming the team would be easy. To be honest and transparent we need a little bit more help, whether its from the government or wherever. We can’t function in this limited capacity and compete on a high level. We need the resources to fly them down to workout and train. If I had it my way, the core of our team would get together at least four times a year, just for a weekend to get together and train but we cant do that,” she said, “We haven’t been responsive or getting the help we need. We can only go as far as they support us, so hopefully we can all come together so that we can do what’s possible with this team.. This tournament, the challenge is it snuck up on us so we really are working within a month’s time and that’s the challenge.”
The tournament will feature the national teams from the Bahamas, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and will be broadcasted live on FIBA’s official You Tube channel.
“The Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCENCABA) is proud to announce Virgin Islands as the host of our Women’s Centrobasket Championship 2017. This competition provides an important platform for women’s basketball throughout the region and we are confident it will be a successful event for the enjoyment of the fans of our sport in St. Thomas.”, said Ruperto Herrera, CONCENCABA President.
After the 5-day tournament, the top three teams will qualify to the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2017, to be played in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from August 6-13.
The last edition of the Women’s Centrobasket Championship was played in Monterrey, Mexico, where Cuba captured the title with a perfect 5-0 record.
In the collegiate ranks, McPhee-McCuin and her Jacksonville University Jaguars came up just short in making consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament but earned a berth to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
The Dolphins received an at large bid and ultimately lost in the first round to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
She led the Dolphins to 23 wins, which tied the school mark for most wins in a season, and they also had the best RPI in the conference.In the 2015-16 campaign, McPhee-McCuin led the Dolphins to a 22-11 record, the A-Sun tournament title and their first NCAA Tournament championship berth in school history.