By RENALDO DOSETT
WITH over a decade of experience under its belt and led by one of the top coaches in the country, one local basketball showcase seeks to continue its mission of granting educational opportunities for student athletes through the sport.
Caribbean Connection will present the 13th annual Darrell Sears/Domino’s/Freeport City Council basketball showcase April 24-26 at the St George’s Jaguars Gymnasium in Grand Bahama.
Sears, the longtime coach of the Jaguars, began the practice of travelling with his players to the United States to gain exposure for his players in the late 1990s.
Since then, he has been able to forge a network of connections that now affords a greater number of players those same opportunities by showcasing their skills at home.
In a press release, Sears explained the origin story of the event.
“An idea turned into a dream from years of travelling to the United States for the sole purpose of helping young, talented basketball players. We attended the Gerald Snider’s events in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama in 1998. We also attended Ken Littlefield’s event in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999.
“Along with coach Greg Munroe, we took a group of kids to our first basketball showcase. Over 150 college coaches were present at this event. We also took a team of kids along with coach Kenton Rolle to Kansas to attend one of Jerry Mullen’s showcases. This is where we learned what a showcase was all about. We learned a lot from Ken Littlefield and Jerry Mullen in terms of exactly how to run a successful showcase.”
Those experiences led to the group creating a showcase of their own.
“In April, 2002 the St Georges Jaguars Basketball Showcase was born,” the statement said. “This was the first event of this type to be held here in the Bahamas. Our main goal has always been to introduce high school and college coaches to the vast array of basketball talent here in the Bahamas.”
Showcase alumni includes some of the most recognised names in Bahamian basketball over the past 13 years and in particular, the best players out of Grand Bahama.
Some of the past participants in the showcase includes professional players Magnum Rolle, Kadeem Coleby, Garvin Hunt and current division I players Buddy Hield, Lourawls Nairn Jr, Kentwan Smith, Prince Cooper Jr and Dwight Coleby.
Scores of other players have received scholarship opportunities to join high school, junior college, division II and division III programmes across the United States.
Interested persons can contact the showcase at www.jaguarsshowcase.com or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org