By Hoops

If you did not see my introduction in the last edition of Fastbreak, I am Hoops. I am going to be writing these opinion pieces regularly. I hope to create some thought and, maybe, some debate about some important issues relative to the game we all love..

As my first topic, I thought I would comment on how divided the game of basketball in Manitoba seems to be. Through no one's fault, or by any design, we have a game with many varied and different parts operating as totally separate entities. Our provincial organization, Basketball Manitoba, to whom I am indebted for allowing me this forum, supposedly governs "everything basketball", however, in reality, we have a fractured sport with various ruling groups and some operating independently of any governing body whatsoever. All of our school teams are under the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) or the different junior high associations, our Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association (WMBA), including the Rising Stars, is governed by its own board, the university and college teams are members of the CIS or MCAC, all club teams operate independently, and our senior men's and women's leagues are totally separate organizations. This could be fine.

However, it is Hoops' opinion that, for the continued growth of basketball in our province, we need to work towards a greater sense of 'being one'. I realize that the present situation has developed over time and is probably not going to change much. It appears that the good people at Basketball Manitoba have the task of attempting to bring all of these different factions together under one umbrella where everyone communicates, has a positive working relationship, and keeps what is best for the game and those playing it, foremost in their minds - a daunting task to say the least. It makes things like the Basketball Manitoba Annual General Meeting, the Club Summit, the Super Coaches' Clinic, and other such events where we all come together much more important than they might appear. After all, these are the only times that representatives of the different parts of our game actually gather as one and where the kind of communication needed can take place along with the further development of working relationships.

Many of the problems being dealt with in other provinces in Canada are rooted in the fact that the different parts of the game do not communicate, actually compete for players and facilities, and that they have no relationship at all with each other. I hope we can all agree that this would NOT be in the best interests of basketball in our province. We need to keep pulling together and supporting all efforts to bring us together. I would welcome any feedback on this or any other issue.

See you next time!


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