Twenty thirteen marks the second year that the Spanish Town Spartans are gracing the stage of the Flow National Basketball League. In their debut season, the Spartans managed a respectable nine wins and five losses heading to the first round of the play-offs, but lack of experience saw their season ending then and there.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Spartans are showing their true mettle having revamped the squad and made changes to their management and coaching staff.
A 13-1 record including a remarkable win over defending champions Urban Knights in the mid season final, has shown that the team which originated from Tawes Pen in Spanish Town is not here to make up numbers, but to go all the way to the top.
Assistant coach Lennox Lindo explains the key to the team’s success thus far.
“We changed the entire organisational structure of the team this year, bringing in Coach Calvin Martin who was once the head coach at Urban Knights, he brings a lot of experience to the team and that I must say has paid off big time for us,” said Lindo.
The Spartans have been busy in the off season as well, bringing in former players from Urban Knights and Harbour View Lakers to bolster their roster.
Shooting guard Lynford Brown and point guard Javon Bailey have been the mainstay of the team this season, averaging 16 and 10 points respectively per game. Bailey has also been dishing out assists all season long as well, averaging five per game.
However it is the strict training regime and the attention to detail that has brought about a renewed vigour to the team that trains at the GC Foster College.
“We train three times per week some time two three hours at a time, we have players that are teachers, labourers, university students on our team, so we have a diverse group but we instil in them commitment and discipline at all times, and they have responded admirably,” said Lindo.
The coaching staff made no bones about some of the challenges they face despite their relative success.
“We have gotten some help from businesses in and around the Spanish Town area but we still need a lot of help if we are to make it all the way to the championship game and claim the title,” he said.
Despite this, the Spartans believe they have what it takes to bring some much needed silverware to Spanish Town and the parish of St Catherine and prove that the sport of basketball is not only entrenched in the city of Kingston.
The Spanish Town Spartans will play Tivoli Wizards next on Sunday, July 7 at the Pembroke Hall Community Centre.