By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
I WANT to take this opportunity to commend the Grand Bahama Port Authority for taking the initiative to recognise the ‘Golden Knights’ for their victory in the men’s 4 x 400 metre relay at the Olympic Games, even if it was six years later since they accomplished the feat in London, England.
Like the saying goes: “Better late than never.”
It’s obvious that a lot of energy went into producing the mural and the four-lane track surface that is erected at the round-a-bout at Coral Road and Settler’s Way.
Kudos to artist Jackie Boss, Jose Construction, who built the mural wall, Anton Gray of Benchmark Builders, who constructed the track around the mural and Greg Dames and crew at SSC, who installed the lanes on the track.
What was done for Grand Bahamians Michael Mathieu and Demetrius Pinder, along with Eleuthera’s Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown and Nassau’s Ramon Miller is unique in that it will provide people with a permanent structure that they can stop back and view whenever they can at their leisure.
This should provide some incentive for those in New Providence to mimic the idea and produce something similar at one of the entrances at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre on Thompson Boulevard where they can replace the portraits of some of our outstanding athletes, which were either destroyed or taken down from last year because of the passing of the hurricane and not completely reconstructed.
By far, this has been the best designed recognition that could be given to our athletes for a job well done. Hopefully more of this type of work can be produced as more and more accomplishments are achieved or recognitions dating to the past are brought back to the forefront. Thank you Grand Bahama for taking the lead in showing exactly how it should be done.
Can you imagine seeing twin towers Jonquel Jones and Waltiea Rolle teaming up together to play for the Bahamas women’s national basketball team?
Watching the two 6-foot, 6-inch forward/centre work out together this week at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium under the supervision of coach Marvin Henfield brought goosebumps.
Here was Jones, the Grand Bahama native currently making her presence felt in the Women’s National Basketball Association, training with Rolle, the pioneer for women’s basketball as the first Bahamian drafted and to play in the WNBA.
Yolett McPhee, the current head coach of the women’s national team, could add a few pieces around the duo like Lashanda Higgs and Leashja Grant and the Bahamas could end up with one of its best teams ever assembled. It’s just a pity that it won’t happen right now.
Whatever it takes, the Bahamas Basketball Federation should be looking at ways to ensure that the Bahamas puts together its best team to represent the island nation and players like Jones and Rolle need to be a part of it. Too much of the emphasis has been placed on the men and the women are taking a back seat.
Speaking to both women, they are keen about competing for the Bahamas, but they admitted that there needs to be a little more professionalism shown to them because they are professional players.
I’m sure that the federation will refute those allegations, indicating that they have done all they can to entice the women to play.
But unless they are actually on the court playing, all that could be done has not been done.
Like all sports, not just basketball, we have to make sure that we do all of the necessary things to make our athletes, especially when they have reached a certain level on the international scene, to treat them with the respect that they rightfully deserve or we won’t get them to perform at their best.