By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
SEVERAL of the top junior and senior girls’ basketball programmes in the island nation will head to Grand Bahama this weekend for the division’s longest standing tournament.
The Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports (HOYTES) hosts the 21st annual Geneva Rutherford Basketball Classic which tipped off yesterday and continues through Saturday, February 22 at the St George’s Gymnasium in Freeport.
Under the theme “Healing Games” the tournament will feature teams from Abaco, New Providence and Grand Bahama.
The field includes New Providence teams - CV Bethel, CR Walker, Freedom Baptist Academy, Jordan Prince Williams and Anatol Rodgers, Grand Bahamian teams - Bishop Michael Eldon, Eight Mile Rock, Jack Hayward, Mary Star of The Sea, Sister Mary Patricia, St George’s, Sunland and Tabernacle along with Grand Cay All-Age out of Abaco.
Sharon Storr serves as the tournament director with Gladstone ‘Moon’ McPhee as tournament coordinator.
The tournament format will feature two pools in both divisions competing in pool round-robin play in the preliminary round. The top four teams will be entered into cross pool knock-out, on to the semis and championship rounds.
The organising committee said the goal of this year’s event and the reason behind the aforementioned team is to “unite sponsors, government agencies, athletes, sports administrators and the public at large together for a couple of days as a remedial and therapeutic effort, as to the devastation of Dorian that has affected Grand Bahama, Abaco and the rest of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
“The motto this year is the ‘Healing Process,’” McPhee said. “We want to bring the best four teams out of New Providence to Grand Bahama.
Hopefully, this year, we will have a junior team out of Grand Cay. As ‘everyone knows, most of the kids out of Marsh Harbor are either here or in Nassau for school.
“This is our 21st year and we want to make sure that the girls have the opportunity.”
It has been documented that the Geneva Rutherford tournament came into being after a demand for girls’ basketball to have a major tournament of their own. That charge was led by McPhee’s daughter and current women’s basketball head coach at Ole Miss, Yolett McPhee-McCuin.