NEW schools will join the Tuckers Ice-Cream Secondary Schools Basketball Championship later this month.
This was confirmed by Basketball Fiji development officer Laisiasa Puamau.
Western-based schools, Tilak High School, Xavier College of Ba, all girls-Japser Williams High School and St Johns College from Cawaci in Levuka, Ovalau are the new forces at this championship which will be staged at the Vodafone Arena on August 25-28.
Puamau said the inclusion of the new schools illustrates the development growth of the sport.
"It is very encouraging for the federation to have new schools coming in the competition. It's one of our objectives to reach out in regards to the development of the sport at secondary schools level," he said.
He said Tilak, Jasper Williams and Xavier College would breathe a new level of competition to the event.
"These West schools will be a force. Despite the fact that they are new to the competition I believe their inclusion will lift the standard of competition."
Puamau also acknowledged the support of major sponsors, Tuckers Ice-Cream for its continuous support in the past six years.
Later Day St will defend the under-19, U17 and U15 boys grades while Adi Cakobau School will be out to defend its U19 girls title.
St Joseph's Secondary School and DAV Girls are the defending champions in the girls U17 and U15 grades respectively.