NMIBF to select 40-player pool for national teams

Posted on Jul 30 2021

The men’s and women’s players that tried out for the CNMI national teams pose with Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation officials after the last day of Phase 1 of the tryouts at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Contributed Photo)

The Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation has concluded Phase 1 tryouts for its much-touted national program and will now proceed with Phase 2 that will require the 70 players that tried out to be trimmed to just 40 players—20 each for the CNMI men’s and women’s national basketball teams.

“The one-and-half month open tryout was Phase 1. In total, there are four phases for the 2021-2022 NMIBF National Program. The National Program Committee which consist of myself along with vice president Dave Apatang and our development director Elias Rangamar, plus all the coaches that were present at the tryout period, will be meeting up to select the Top 20 men and women to move on to the next phases,” said NMIBF president James Lee.

The MARPAC executive said the 40 players that will eventually make the cut will undergo further training under Phase 2 of the national program NMIBF is implementing.

“In Phase 2, we will be working on strength and conditioning and more basketball drills. It will be considered as an offseason training period for the class of 2022 national athletes,” he added.

NMIBF has dusted off its national program under Lee and the new group’s leadership with an eye of fielding a competitive team in the 2022 Micronesian Games in the Marshall Islands.

Lee and company designed the national program to provide the islands a steady and deep pool of basketball players that would suit up for the Commonwealth in several competitions, not just for next year’s Micronesian Games in the Marshall Islands. It aims for a Top 3 finish in the quadrennial event to outright qualify to the 2023 Honiara Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.

The first phase of the tryouts for the national program ran until July 24 and were held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. Phase 2 will be from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31; Phase 3 from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28, 2022; Phase 4 is from March 1 to June 30; and Phase 5 is from July 25 to Aug. 5, which cover the dates of matches in the 2022 Micronesian Games.

NMIBF fundraisers
Lee also announced that NMIBF will host a slew of fundraisers starting with the twin Michelob Ultra 4-mile Run for Taste and the Pokka 4-mile Sunset Run on Aug. 28.

The fundraising run will have a 5pm start at Garapan Fishing Base with the Pokka 4-mile Sunset Run open to participants aged 21 years and below and the Michelob Ultra 4-mile Run for Taste open to participants 21 years and older.

“This will be the first NMIBF fundraiser event. Our hope is to create an annual event such as the to help generate funds to help support all our programs,” said Lee.

“On top of that, NMIBF will have a 3v3 tournament and Basketball for Goods (village outreach) beginning October and of course inter-scholastic basketball leagues beginning September to the end of the year. Other programs we hope to start up sometime next year is the Jr. National Program,” added Lee.

For more information about the tryouts and fundraising run, send emails to nmibasketballfederation@gmail.com or leave a message to NMIBF’s Facebook account Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.