By BRENT STUBBS
IT’S not how you start, nor how you get there. Most importantly, it’s how you finish.
The Finish Line, a weekly column, seeks to comment on the state of affairs in the local sports scene, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures.
AFTER taking a couple weeks off to relax, it’s good to be back from vacation. But I’ve noticed that it’s still sports as usual. Nothing changed. Still the package includes a little bit of everything, including some controversy. After all, that is what sports is all about in the Bahamas.
Mike Sands officially introduced his slate of officers that will be running with him when the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) hold their election during their annual general meeting on November 28.
On Saturday at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sands and his officers, running under the banner of “One BAAA”, were presented to a group of coaches in a similar fashion to what had transpired a week earlier with the “United Purpose” team that is being led by presidential candidate Rosamaude Carey.
What was slightly different was the group used a gold baton that was exchanged by each member as they were officially introduced. Immediately following the session, the group took off for Grand Bahama, where they went to impress upon the delegates there why they should be kept in office.
What turned out to be a surprise was the endorsement from veteran historian and videographer/photographer Stanley Mitchell, who advised the group that Sands was indeed the best man for the job and he should be returned as president because of the international connection he has achieved.
The stage is now set and it will come down to the voting delegates to determine whether they want to continue under the reign of Sands, whose group say they are “stronger, experienced and committed”, or they want to give Carey and her group a chance to execute their four pillars of “restructuring, strengthening, renewing and building” the organisation.
Who will it be?
Many people on the street will tell you that they think it’s time for a change, but the problem is that they are not eligible to vote. The BAAA is expected to complete the voting list by today and only those financial members will be eligible to cast their votes.
The problem, as history has shown, is that once the president is elected, there is a domino effect with just about all of the officers for the other positions coming from the slate of the elected president. What would be a good idea is to have all of the officers from both slates listed on one ballot sheet and the positions selected at the same time.
That’s just my suggestion, but as I’m not a financial member of the BAAA, I don’t think anybody in the organisation will seriously look at it.
But at least it will force the voting delegates to determine who are the best people in each position, rather than just selecting persons because they are on a particular presidential slate.
In the long run, it would force persons from both sides, if elected, to work together for the common good of the sport, rather than just because they are supporting a particular leader. Again, it’s just my five cents and I will present it for what it’s worth.
Over the years, the Bahamas has been blessed by some tremendous athletes in just about every sport you could imagine.
On November 7, the family of Reginald ‘Reggie’ Hanna Jr laid him to rest. Many may not have known him, but the 56-year-old former basketball star was the son of Reginald Hanna and the late Martha Rae Anderson Bethel.
Hanna, born in Titusville, Florida, was a 6ft 9in power forward, who played for the Florida Gators from 1977-1980 before he moved to South Alabama from 1981-1982.
He was then selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth round (70th pick overall) of the 1982 NBA draft.
But after he was cut from the Cavaliers, Hanna decided to take his game to Europe where he made a living playing with a number of teams for several years. He was regarded as one of the finest players to have come out of Brevard County, Florida.
Unfortunately, the Bahamas didn’t have an opportunity to field a national team at the time and so Hanna’s desire to play for the Bahamas never materialised. But one of his sisters, Denise Adderley, said he always had a passion to come to the Bahamas and help out with the local programme, but that also never became a reality.
It just goes to show the level of success that the Bahamas has achieved.
To the rest of his family, Tribune Sports offered its condolences and may his soul rest in peace.
THE WEEK AHEAD
It’s basketball time.
Both the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association and the Bahamas Associstion of Independent Secondary Schools will begin their high school basketball leagues and the New Providence Basketball Association and the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association are all gearing up for the start of their season.
If that’s not your fancy, then gear up for the third annual National Tournament of Champions, organised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in conjunction with the Bahamas Volleyball Federation and sponsored by JS Johnson.
A total of 14 teams - seven boys and seven girls - will make up the field for the tournament that will run from November 19-21. This will be the first interaction of the private and public schools as well as the Family Islands in competition this school year so it should be a very exciting event.