ORGANISER Glenn Smith was so impressed with the initial staging of the Hoopfest in Paradise High School Basketball Tournament over the weekend that they are already looking at returning for the second edition in 2023.
Smith, who serves as president of Hoopfest in Paradise Basketball Incorporated, said they were able to display some top-notch basketball competition with some of the top stars coming in from the United States.
“The fans who came out got to see the number one and number two top teams in the United States play against each other,” said Smith of the opening day matchup on Friday night that saw Duncanville High knock off Roselle Catholic School 73-58.
“We had a lot of outstanding talent on display here.”
Smith said having first visited our shores as a tourist, he was so impressed that when he returned to the United States, he began to form the framework that has produced the Hoopfest in Paradise.
“I wanted more people in the United States to experience what I did,” Smith said. “In return, I thought with the history of basketball in the country, what better way to give them that exposure than by bringing the basketball talent from the United States for them to see.”
Jerome Gomez, who along with Jeff Rodgers served as the local organisers, said they were delighted to join Smith in bringing the tournament to the Bahamas.
“We got to see some high-level basketball competition from these high school players who will go on to become the next stars in college and even in the NBA,” Gomez said. “So, we’re looking forward to next year.
“We’re looking forward to an even bigger draw and hopefully we will get more fans to come out and watch the action because you can’t get no better than this when it comes to the high school competition in the United States.”
Smith said he was so impressed with what transpired that he has already made the commitment to return next year for the second edition of Hoopfest in Paradise.
And to add to the level of competition, Smith said they are looking at bringing some of the girls’ high school teams to participate in the tournament as well.
This year’s tournament also featured two Bahamian All-Star teams.
The New Providence All-Stars lost 71-36 to the Miami Northwestern High School on Friday and the Grand Bahama All-Stars lost 66-47 to Miami Northwestern High on Saturday.