Ball in Legislature's court for bill to renovate condemned Tiyan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ball in Legislature's court for bill to renovate condemned Tiyan Gym

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Some of the major players in developing the sport of basketball in Guam gave the full court press in support of Bill 388.

Former Guam Basketball Confederation president Bob Pelkey said, "I just came here as a past president of Guam basketball to remind you that facilities dictate programs." And current president Tony Thompson said, "Playing the sport of basketball promotes health and fitness discipline sportsmanship and teamwork to islands residents and most importantly our youth 5912

Bill 388 provides up to $2.5 million in tax credits for the next ten years to companies who contribute the renovations and expansion of the Tiyan Gymnasium. It is modeled after the public partnership between the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Guam Football Federation which developed the Harmon Soccer Field.

It was in November of last year a memorandum of understanding was signed between DPR and the Guam Basketball Confederation. The MOU allows the GBC to oversee the gym's renovation. "Our national teams continue to borrow court time at local schools and village gyms and often have no choice but to practice late at night outdoor subject to the elements," said Thompspon.

Despite the lack of training facilities, Guam's National Teams have proven time and time again they are champions, with Thompson explaining, "This summer our men and women dominated the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei with both bringing home gold medals including an unprecedented 8th straight for our Men's National Team."

The legislation garnered support from DPR as well as municipal leaders in the village of Barrigada which currently does not have a gymnasium. According to Thompson should Bill 388 pass we will see renovations not only in the interior but also an expansion of the facility to include six outdoor multipurpose courts.

Guam Men's Basketball National Team coach EJ Calvo said, "I just don't feel that there's any doubt that the return on investment is there for the people of Guam and for the taxpayers when it comes to improving our public facilities and giving our people a place to go and enjoy their support and become a better athlete and one day hopefully produce world class athletes as well as just a place to get in shape and stay healthy."

The bill also ensures that the Tiyan Gym is open to the public.  The legislation was introduced by Senators Brant McCreadie, Tommy Morrison, Tony Ada, and Tina Muna Barnes.
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