‘There’s a lot of raw talent and it’s been really exciting’


Sports Reporter


THE first ever National High School Basketball Championships featured some of the country’s top  local players and one US- based recruiting service was on hand to evaluate the talent.

Michael Smiechowski, college athletic recruiting adviser at Student Athlete World.com, said he was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of talent displayed last week at the St George’s Gymnasium in Grand Bahama.

“The talent has been very good, there’s a lot of raw talent and it’s been really exciting. The games have been really good and I enjoyed watching these athletes compete. A lot of it is very raw and undeveloped but you can tell it is getting there,” he said. “There are certainly kids with the right amount of exposure can go on and play at the NCAA level. I have seen several that could. If the exposure was there I could absolutely see that happening sooner rather than later.”

In his first trip to the Bahamas, Smiechowski said he came into the event with an open mind.

“I didn’t have any idea what I would see. I was not familiar with Bahamian basketball but these players have exceeded my expectations. It was competitive across the board with some great players. I was expecting one or two stud teams  to mow through the competition but it has been pretty consistent across the board,” he said.

“There is at least one kid on each team that is an elite level player that has been good to see.  This is the first time we travelled to a national tournament. In my opinion the Bahamas is a very untapped market where there is a lot of kids that fall through the cracks because they’re not getting looked at, they’re not getting the exposure they need which is a problem even in the US.  The Bahamas is an untapped market, this is definitely a snap in the right direction but there is still a ways to go before we can address that issue substantially.”

Student Athlete World recruiting and marketing service is founded by a group of former US-based college coaches.

“We are an international company and basically our goal is to help and market our athletes out to the 17,000 college basketball programmes across the country and in other sports as well,” Smiechowski said.


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