By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE 2018 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis will not feature a local player on the floor for the first time in several years, but one of the eight schools in the field still has a Bahamian connection in the administration.
The Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders, led by President Dr Sidney McPhee, will make another trip to the Bahamas for one of its sporting programmes.
It will be the third time McPhee’s Blue Raiders have competed in the Bahamas following a pair of trips in 2015 for the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Summer of Thunder and the Bahamas Bowl.
The remainder of the 2018 field will also include the Wisconsin Badgers (Big 10), Florida Gators (SEC), Virginia Cavaliers (ACC), Butler Bulldogs (Big East), Dayton Flyers (Atlantic 10), Stanford Cardinal (Pac 12) and Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12).
Six of those teams were in last season’s NCAA Tournament, and five B4A participants in previous editions. Stanford appeared in 2012 and ultimately finished in fifth place with a 1-2 record. Butler, Oklahoma, Florida and Wisconsin all competed in the 2014 event. Wisconsin was the eventual champion when they defeated Buddy Hield and the Sooners in the title game. Butler finished in third place while Florida ended up sixth.
McPhee was born in Mayaguana before he moved to Nassau and graduated from the former Highbury High School, now the RM Bailey Secondary School.
As the president of the largest university in the state of Tennessee for nearly two decades, McPhee served on the NCAA Board of Directors and the NCAA Executive Committee.
His list of accolades in the post includes growth at both the academic and athletic level for the institution.
According to the MTSU website, “McPhee’s presidency, which began in 2001, also coincided with more than $700m in improvements in academic, athletic and campus facilities - either proposed, under construction or completed. MTSU’s $147m `Science Building, a 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art teaching and research facility, opened in Fall 2014. Since his arrival, MTSU has been successful in raising admission standards, which resulted in an increase in enrollment of high-ability students. McPhee has overseen the addition of almost 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, two colleges (Behavioral and Health Sciences and University College) and 12 institutes and centers.”
In his profile of Dr. McPhee, columnist Oswald Brown said” McPhee was named Outstanding American University President of 2002 by the American Football Foundation. In 2003, he was listed by Nashville Post business magazine as one of Tennessee’s 100 Most Powerful Individuals and, in 2004, he was ranked by Business Tennessee magazine as one of the state’s Top 50 Most Powerful African Americans. He was honoured by the Nashville Business Journal with its Rutherford County Impact Award for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. He also has been named Omega Citizen of the Year by the Pi Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.”
The annual Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis once again falls during the Thanksgiving holiday, scheduled to take place November 21-23, 2018. The 12-game, three-day tournament is regarded as one of the most challenging early-season tournaments. For more information, visit www.Battle4Atlantis.com.