BAHAMAS team members in Maples, Florida, where seven Bahamian junior tennis players participated in a college showcase last week.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
COACH Philip Major Jr said he was more than impressed with the performance level of the seven Bahamian junior tennis players who participated in the college showcase held last week in Maples, Florida.
Twin brothers Sharano and Savanno Hanna earned full athletic scholarships to attend the United International College. They are members of the Flamingo Gardens Tennis Club, but travelled as members of the Island Tennis Bahamas.
Island Tennis Bahamas, which is based at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, took seven members to the showcase. The others were Dentry Mortimer, Saphire Ferguson, Leila O’Brien, Khai Rees and Sierra Rodgers.
“The trip went great. The kids did their thing. Everybody showed up and showed out,” said Major r, who travelled with coach Kevin ‘KJ’ Major Jr. “Some of them went undefeated during the whole showcase. All of them went there for a goal in mind and they all executed their goals, which was to get offers and meeting with the college scouts and coaches to discuss the possibilities or enrolling in school with the possibilities of doing it through athletic scholarships.”
While the Hanna brothers, who are trained by Michael Butler, were successful in getting scholarships to UIC, based in Miami, Florida, Major Jr said the others got a lot of interest from various schools.
O’Brien also received offers from UIC, Emerson College, Appalachian State University, West Virginia Wesleyan, Belhaven College, Piedmont University and LeTourneau University, while Mortimer, on the other hand, got offers from Warner University, Howard, DePaul, Chicago State, McPherson, Bethel, Boston College, Frostburg State, Prairie View and Xavier.
All of the others received a number of offers from schools and will be engaging in some more formal discussions with the schools over the next few weeks with the view of making a final selection.
This was Island Tennis Bahamas’ first venture into attending a showcase and because of the feedback that they received from the organisers and the coaches, Major said they will continue to attend more showcases in the future with the view of getting more exposure for the Bahamian tennis players.
“We do intend to carry more Bahamians to this type of showcase that can benefit them for their future,” Major Jr said. “So it turned out to be a great trip overall and we’re pleased with what the players were able to accomplish.
“It’s a big deal to go to a showcase like that and show out. Just to see the kids come out of their comfort zone and to communicate with the caches and scouts and demand what they want and what they want to study and holding that whole conversation was something great to see.”
Major Jr thanked Audrey Oswell, president/managing director and the Atlantis resort team for their commitment to the growth and the development of the players at their facilities, as well as their parents who made the investment in the coaches to help facilitate the process for their children. A number of players from Island Tennis Bahamas are now in Florida where they are participating in the 17th Lil Mo Tennis Tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Major Jr wished all of them every success as they gain some international exposure playing against some top-notch players from around the world.