The Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation and CNMI Public School System have formalized their partnership by signing a Memorandum of Agreement for the 2021-2022 season of the interscholastic basketball competition.
Under the MOA, the NMIBF will be managing the interscholastic basketball league for PSS in all five divisions—co-ed elementary, girls and boys middle school, and girls and boys high school. NMIBF president James Lee, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada, and PSS athletic program director Nick Gross signed the MOA last month during a brief ceremony at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
“I would like to thank the basketball federation and its officials and our athletic program director, Mr. Nick Gross, for taking the lead on this basketball program and helping the PSS provide all CNMI students opportunities for sports development,” Ada said.
This season’s basketball competition will start with the girls middle school league on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. Nine teams from both public and private schools will be playing in the regular season, while Tinian and Rota squads will join the field in the playoff round on Oct. 8. Regular season matches will be played every Wednesday and Friday, starting at 4:30pm.
Hopwood Middle School will have two teams and will be joined in the competition by Francisco M. Sablan, Dandan Middle School, Saipan Community School, Chacha Oceanview, Tanapag Middle School, Mt. Carmel School, and Grace Christian Academy.
“We are excited to start the interscholastic basketball season and see our students from elementary to high school showcase their skills and play for school pride. We also commend the PSS leadership for their commitment to keep basketball in their interscholastic program,” Lee said.
“When the new NMIBF board was elected in April, one of our priorities is to strengthen our grassroots program through the interscholastic league. The league is the source of our talents, it’s the future of our national team. We will continue to work with PSS and other stakeholders to provide our students more opportunities on and off the court through the sport of basketball,” the NMIBF head added.
To prepare for the interscholastic league, the NMIBF has conducted basic referees and table official courses. Members of the NMI National Team Program attended the workshop and they will help run the girls middle school league. The NMIBF will continue to hold officiating clinics for other competitions in the league. The boys middle school league will be held in November, the high school event is slated in February, while the co-ed elementary will run in April. (PR)