— As President Weah hails Great Ball Players-USA for helping to transform the game from analogue to digital
The Great Ball Players-USA (GBPUSA) donated on Saturday, April 15, the first of its kind modern digital scoreboard for the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Stadium gymnasium, valued at US$8,000.
GBPUSA, which comprises a group of former basketball athletes, fans, and supporters from Liberia with a desire to provide new and refurbished basketball courts for youths, was founded in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) organization in America.
President George M. Weah, who unveiled the board and performed the dedicatory ceremony, hailed the US-based Liberian basketball players organization for helping to transform the game from analogue to digital.
He said, "I am a soccer player and also a fan of basketball." President Weah hopes that the digital scoreboard now at the gymnasium will help improve the game.
"With the new and modern electronic scoreboard, the scores will no longer be tampered with; it will be transparent, and accountability will be the order of the day," he said with a hand of applause.
According to Weah, unlike before, his administration is improving the game with a significant infrastructure boost, including the Invincible Sports Park and the PHP Sports Facility that is under construction, among others.
He encouraged the young talents to make maximum use of the various sporting facilities in order to help improve their game.
"With the facility we have now, including our raw talents, I am sure the NBA will not be better than us," Weah noted.
He used the occasion to acknowledge the hard and transformative work that has been done by the Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson.
Weah added, "When I appointed you, people said you would not make it, but I am glad that you have made us proud, and there is a great improvement in the sector."
Also speaking, the Great Ball Players-USA, represented by Jonathan Harvey, said he believed that their gesture was among other things meant to help improve the game.
"It is time we helped improve the game, especially with the rich talents we have," he said.
Harvey stated that the Great Ball Players, predominantly basket ballers based in the United States of America, feel passionate about giving back to the sector.
"We endeavor to ensure that all children, regardless of place of birth, family income, or background, have access to well-kept basketball courts, recreation, social and emotional development, and educational opportunities.” He explained, “We are asking the local and international NGO and business communities to please consider contributing and partnering with us to provide these opportunities for the young people and support our mission in Liberia."
For his part, Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson lauded the Great Ball Players for their contribution to the sector.
He informed the gathering that the donation of the modern electronic scoreboard came as a result of the regular and constructive engagements the government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, had made with the donor over the period, and he was glad that such engagement had now yielded fruitful results.
Wilson described the donation as timely, especially in preparation for the new basketball league season. He, however, urged the technicians to take good care of the equipment.
However, the dedication of the new digital electronic scoreboard was accompanied by an exhibition match between Jamaica Spartacus and YMCA old-timers basketball.
Meanwhile, Jamaica Spartacus (featuring President Weah) won the exhibition match 54 to 52 points in a competitive encounter in which the President was the highest shooter from the three-point range on the court.