By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Since founding the Sea Cows Bay Basketball Club on April 1, 1994 Milton McLean’s passion for working with young people hasn’t wavered in the last 27 years.
Along with his team, he’s currently wrapping up the B&B Clinic (Basketball and Baseball/Softball) in Capoons Bay, targeting 8-14 years boys and girls in Districts 1, 2 and 3. A similar program ran in Greenland last week, for Districts 6, 7 and 8.
For girls in particular, McLean sees the program as an opportunity to be introduced to different sports, getting exercise and socializing among the program benefits. His long term aim is to see girls in particular getting opportunities to better themselves and further their education.
From the clinics, McLean would like to see girls only training programs involving basketball and softball. He said it’s important that at that young age, they be exposed to two or three different sports.
“As far as basketball, really getting them learning the basics, mentoring them and encouraging them would be really good,” he told Island Sun Sports, something that can happen in the districts where the program was held. “Everybody would be learning two sports, developing themselves, getting their exercise, socializing—especially in this Covid time, you need to keep your sanity—have fun with other people. I think we would really be able now, from that beginning in the next 2-3 years, we can have some girls leagues. This can go into the schools, start to really develop girls to play basketball and five years from now, you’ll be hearing about these girls going off to school and furthering themselves.”
McLean added: “The children of the Virgin Islands belong to all of us—we have to help them along—through sports, academics, mentoring. Sports goes a very long way. We’re not just talking about exercise, fun and learning skills. A lot of times you have offerings in sports where they can have an education just based on their athletic skills—just getting a foot in the door, getting a degree. If they have a degree, they can support themselves, help others and help build the community.”
McLean believes they’ll be in a better position to give back and we’ll have a better nation. “If we can get them going we won’t be talking just about the boys, but girls playing basketball,” he said. “I think we can give them a chance and develop basketball throughout the BVI.”