Basketball in the island of Jamaica was first introduced to high school students in the early 1960’s.
The island made organizations such as The Mini Basketball Programme and the High School Programme. The programme’s main purpose is to attract kids into the basketball sport in an early age, for them to mould and enhance the kids’ skills and talents for their own future.
The Mini Basketball Program caters to children under the ages of 12 years and started in the year of 2002 with the total of 10 schools and today there 40 participating schools with boys and girls combined.
In the beginning of the High School Programme four schools only participated but currently almost seventy schools joined it and eighty seven schools joined the KFC’s National Basketball League (NBL) wherein the teams have three categories namely under 14 (U14), the under 16 (U16) and the under 19 (U19).
The high school basketball programme has been successfully great. For the young players (boys or girls)who are participating in the program, at least ten scholarships (per year) are being awarded to them in the last ten years. The KFC fast food chains are the main sponsors in the under 16 and under 19 program but withdrawn it in 2008.
The sports governing body that controls high school basketball is the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association with the assistance of the Jamaica Basketball Association. The governing body is the one in charge with the improvement and development of the programme within the schools. Their suggestions for the implementation of the aspects to be improved are tabled to ISSA for consideration.
To create another platform where the best young basketball players in the island can showcase, enhance and develop their skills and talents, the Star Search Basketball and Life Skills Development camp was made. It was formally launched in 2001 and it was a joint plan by the JABA and the US based Jamaican Basketball Dev. Inc. (JBD Inc.).
The Star Search Basketball and Life Skills Development is a huge success. The past Jamaican national representatives were the one’s who comprises the JBD Inc. They are kind enough to donate their resources which will help the young players in their personal development.
The Young players who are eager to have the scholarships, opportunities and possibilities outside the country joined the camp hoping that they will benefit to what basketball has to offer them. The youngsters came together in a residential environment which can be helpful in pulling out the best from each of the young basketball players.
One hundered twenty youth whose age ranges from 13-20 from different places in the country participated in this five day camp. The present Jamaicans under the scholarship program in the USA will be their special guest and they will share some of their experiences and some new knowledge that they had gained.
Another special feature of the program is the insertion of the Life Skill Development which seeks to improve the total personality of the person not just in the sport skill itself.