LAST Friday, officials from the Ministry of Education – Unit of Allied Arts, Regional Education Department, National Sports Commission, Regional Democratic Council and Youth Basketball Guyana, all came together at the Leonora Secondary school for the launch of Region 3 school basketball pilot progamme.It was a day of many firsts for basketball. It was the first time that a school team from the Leonora Secondary played in a formal basketball game. It was the first time that two secondary schools in that Region would face each other in friendly competition. It was also the first time that two Georgetown school teams played a basketball match in that Region.Speaking at the launch in front of a very enthused and excited Leonora Secondary School population was the Head of the Physical Education Unit of the Ministry of Education, Nicholas Fraser, who outlined the objective of the Pilot Programme and the long term intended goal, which is to see the game of basketball integrated into the school’s Physical Education programme which will culminate with a CSEC Physical Education and Sport programme.Fay Gittens, Head Teacher, Leonora Secondary school, returned thanks to all involved and promised that her school will make full use of the facilities provided, even as she appealed for further help to improve the condition of the school’s playfield to better occupy and harness the energy of the larger student population.Following the officials’ remarks, two exciting friendly games were played.The first was between Georgetown arch rivals St Rose’s High and Marian Academy, who showcased their athleticism and high skill levels to a very excited host.The game ended in Marian’s favour 40 to 33 points. Marian Academy’s Jahleel Young had a team-high 12 points, with support from Jether Harris and Akili Haynes who netted five points each. St Rose’s High School’s Quacy Roberts score led all scorers with 17.The main game saw a low-scoring encounter between the pilot schools, Leonora Secondary and West Demerara Secondary. Leonora used the energy of their boisterous supporters to ensure that they dominated the game. The game ended 15 – 8 in favour of the home team.Both schools will continue practicing; hoping to participate in next year’s National School Basketball Festival (NSBF).