Even though an organizing committee for the 2006 Micronesian Games has yet to be formed, FIBA Oceania has already expressed its willingness to help the CNMI stage the basketball competition of the quadrennial event. I used Mark Rabago's article for SaipanTribune to cover this story.
"The Micronesian Games is not an event that belongs to FIBA or to FIBA Oceania. However, we are prepared once invited, to help the host to stage the competition in the same way we helped Palau stage the 2005 South Pacific Mini Games basketball competition," according to FIBA Oceania executive director Steve Smith in a recent e-mail. "As with most of the things we do, this needs to be a partnership between the local organizing committee and FIBA Oceania," he said. "In fact, we already have made available a basketball event planning manual to BANMI (Basketball Association of the Northern Mariana Islands] and we believe this provides useful advice and templates in preparation for the staging of such events."
While FIBA Oceania's invaluable assistance for next year's Micronesian Games is all but assured, it is still not certain where basketball would be played as the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, which was built in 1990 during the revival of the Games, has seen better days and is in dire need of a major facelift. In an earlier report, Division of Sports and Recreation director Tony Rogolifoi estimates that about $307,500 is needed to fix the venue. A fixed gymnasium would also be able to host the 2008 FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament if CNMI would submit a bid to host the tournament.