BNB U15 Teams Not Attending Nationals Again!

Yesterday BNB issued a press release calling for provincial team coaches. Buried in this release is the notice that our U15 Teams (Girls and Boys) will NOT be attending the National Tournaments again this summer!!

For those who don’t know, I was on the BNB Board for four years serving as Director of Elite Development for a large portion of that time. As a BNB Director I was part of the decision to not send the U15 teams to Nationals last summer. This was a very difficult decision, but one forced on us by significant financial constraints. At the time, BNB issued a press release stating…“It is our intention that this will be just a one year absence from the Under 15 Nationals and we will have stability in our financial circumstances that we will be able to participate next year”.

I can tell you with confidence that BNB has addressed the financial circumstances they found themselves in last year. In fact, the original 2009-2010 budget prepared by staff and presented to the BNB Board of Directors for approval back in November included the provisions to send both U17 and U15 teams to Nationals. Unfortunately that budget was amended by a motion to not send the U15 teams to Nationals prior to acceptance by the BNB Board.

I personally can not begin to understand why this decision was made. Countless hours of hard work and years of dedication from players, parents and coaches have gone into making our provincial team program one of the finest in the country. Our strong showing at last the 2009 Summer Games is a testament to those individuals.

I fear that if we do not offer the experience of competing at a National Tournament as part of our U15 program, that our province’s elite players, and many of our elite coaches, will pursue other activities during the summer months. The results will not only impact the U15 program, but could have long reaching impacts to our U17 program not to mention the level of play within the NBIAA system.

I ask each of you that share my concerns about this decision to contact BNB directly. They can be reached at 506-472-4667 or by emailing them at info@basketball.nb.ca. I also ask you to do so immediately as Canada Basketball’s deadline for provinces to confirm attendance is fast approaching.