www.islandstats.com teamed up with coach Charles Hatcher and had the opportunity to interview NBA Legend Wali Jones.
Born in Philadelphia, Jones played at Overbrook High School, the same school that had produced Wilt Chamberlain a few years earlier. He played college ball for coach Jack Kraft at Villanova University where he would earn Philadelphia's BIG-5 Player of the Year honors 2x in a row for 1963 and 1964 and become a 3rd-Team All-American as a senior.
In his first NBA season, Jones played for the Baltimore Bullets and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. The next season, he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers where he would play for the next six years.
Jones and Hal Greer were the starting guards on the 1966–67 76ers team that also featured Chamberlain, Chet Walker, Lucious Jackson, Billy Cunningham and included fellow Villanova alum - Bill Melchionni. That team went 68-13 during the regular season, then easily won three playoff series in dethroning the eight-time defending NBA champion Boston Celtics. Jones made the 76ers' starting lineup after Larry Costello tore his Achilles tendon on January 6th, 1967. The NBA Champion 1967 Philadelphia 76ers squad is considered one of the greatest teams ever assembled in NBA history.
Later, Jones played for the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Stars.
Jones took us on a history lesson throughout his career.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
BBA Logo Down to Four
The Bermuda Basketball Association (BBA) has reached the Final round of the BBA Logo competition with its' FINAL FOUR
Close to 40 entries were submitted, and the BBA Executive were able to narrow the entries choices to four.
It was good to see the variety and the talent shown by both fans and the membership.
The new Logo will be decided out of the final four soon.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Pacers Remember Crash in Bermuda Celebrating Championship
The Pacers team that won the 1970 ABA championship 50 years ago Monday wasn't the best of the franchise's three teams that won titles, but it had the most fun, the wildest ride, and the greatest impact on fans in Indianapolis, where a "major league" team had never won a championship.
It won more games than any other ABA Pacers team. It played in the franchise's first nationally televised games. It was feted in two parades, not to mention a ham and bean dinner. And then the players all went to Bermuda, where the star player crashed his mini-bike into someone's house.
In June, the Pacers' ownership paid for the players and their spouses to vacation in Bermuda. Art Becker had to miss it to attend his sister's wedding and Bob Leonard stayed behind to be with his college coach at Indiana University, Branch McCracken, who was near death in an Indianapolis hospital. Everyone else, however, had a typically fun time.
Oliver Darden and Billy Keller recall Roger Brown, of all people, losing control of his motorized mini-bike and riding over a mound and into a house. Mel Daniels' wife, Cecelia, ran her bike across the road into a cluster of bushes.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
CBC Basketball Tournaments Pushed Back to 2021
All tournaments planned for this year by the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) have been blown off until 2021.
President of CBC, Glyne Clarke, said that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has mandated that all championships this year including those hosted by the CBC be suspended.
Clarke explained that going forward they would monitor closely what is happening around the world because even though they are planning to have those tournaments played sometime next year, there were no guarantees that the host countries would be ready.
“We will be monitoring to see how the world is recovering and it is subject to the governmental restrictions this will have on countries. Even though we may restart, some countries might not be in a position to start as well.
“We are actually in the process of sending out some communication to the member countries, not only to check on their state of readiness but in terms of being able to play and what the government restrictions are.
“In terms of financing, as you know many of the Caribbean countries depend heavily on assistance from the government in their competitions. So it is how well they are able to recover and to get the funding both governmental and corporate to help the teams to compete,” he said.
During a recent meeting, Clarke noted that the CBC management had decided to use this time to do some online training, particularly for the coaches.
“We have already started from the Americas doing some virtual programs like Zoom and so on with coaching at different levels. But what we are going to be doing too at the Caribbean level is working on developing our mini-league coaches and the mini-league programs, and also doing some training for the referees and table officials.
“We are capitalizing on the downtime to make sure people get the training and in many areas now people are more receptive now to doing training online than before. This also saves some cost as well,” he said.
Monday, May 11, 2020
FIBA Confirm Basketball World Cup 2023
FIBA has confirmed the dates for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, with the showpiece event set to take place from August 25th to September 10th, 2023.
The approved dates of the competition have been decided by FIBA's Central Board following consultation with the host nations and a recommendation by FIBA's Competitions Commission.
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will see the Group Phase take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines, with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippine capital city of Manila. It marks the first in the competition's history that it is to be staged in more than one country.
With this announcement also comes the launch of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 official website, which will be continually updated in the lead up to this flagship event.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will once again feature the 32 national teams from around the world, with the expanded format adopted for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, FIBA's biggest event to date.
Held across eight cities across China, last year's event saw Spain crowned world champions after defeating Argentina 95-75 at the Wukesong Sport Arena in Beijing.
Continuing with the success of the FIBA Competition System implemented in 2017, the qualification process for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will include six windows over a 15-month period across the four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe.
The road to the 2023 World Cup in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines began in February 2020 with the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Pre-Qualifiers, which will qualify eight teams for the European Qualifiers. Set to follow later in 2020, the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Pre-Qualifiers will qualify four teams to the Americas Qualifiers.
Qualification for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from November 2021 to February 2023, with 80 national teams competing for a spot in the World Cup. The first window of qualification will be played from November 22nd – 30th, 2021.