High School Basketball Nationals returns to GB


Sports Reporter


ESTABLISHING a new tradition in Bahamian high school basketball, the second edition of the national tournament looks to expand and will return to Grand Bahama.

Through a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Grand Bahama, Education alongside Youth Sports and Culture, the 2017 Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships is set to be hosted March 2-6 in Grand Bahama.

The top senior teams in the country will compete in three divisions at both the Sir Jack Hayward and St George’s Gymnasiums over the course of the five-day event.

Division I will feature 12 of the top teams from the Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association, the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools, the Government Secondary School Sports Association and the Bahamas Scholastic Athletic Association.

This group includes the Jack Hayward Wildcats, Sunland Stingers, Tabernacle Falcons, St George’s Jaguars and Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays out of Grand Bahama along with the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves, CI Gibson Rattlers, Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine, Jordan Prince William Falcons, CC Sweeting Cobras and the winners of the BSAA league yet to be determined.

Division II will feature Family Island teams, including teams out of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Exuma, Cat Island and San Salvador.

The senior girls’ division will feature nine teams including the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, CV Bethel, Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors, Tabernacle Falcons, Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays, CI Gibson Rattlers, Kingsway Saints and St. John’s Giants.

Charles Robins, president of Bahamas Basketball Federation, said he looks forward to expansion and future editions that can be hosted in other Family Islands.

“It is indeed a pleasure once again to host this tournament in Grand Bahama. I’ve always thought this was our home tournament and we want this to be a fixed date on the calendar so that our islands will always be ready when it is called,” he said, “The tournament will not only be in Grand Bahama but I would love to see it moved to any island that has proper gymnasiums so those people can see the talent we have in this country.”

Norris Bain, member of the tournament’s Local Organising Committee, called it an economic win for the host island and the development of the game.

“This is going to be good for Grand Bahama. It’ll be great basketball, we will have 10th Year Seniors live streaming so those persons who are unable to travel, their friends and family in the family islands and in the United States will be able to watch the action online,” he said, “Certainly you will see a transformation of the St George’s Gymnasium. We want you to come out and see all the activities we will have in store. We will be able to put vendors on the outside and create a truly family atmosphere. We know that Grand Bahama is the basketball capital of the Bahamas and we expect great fan participation. We are looking to do some giveaways and we are really looking forward to a great tournament this year.”

Kenton Rolle, President of the GBBSSA applauded the collaborative effort of all involved stakeholders.

“I am so pleased that the government, BBF and local association is working together for one goal., we didn’t think this would be possible last year, but it was an excellent event and it is back this yea  all because of the cooperation between these organisations,” he said.

Evon Wisdom, director of the Sports Unit in the Ministry of Education, said it is an event long overdue for all stakeholders.

“It is through our alliance with the federation that we get to be a part of a sanctioned national celebration and I want the general public to know that many times person call things national championships and they are not unless they are sanctioned by the individual authority that governs that particular sport in the given country,” he said, “We are happy to be back in Grand Bahama and I would like to let the public know that one of the most influential factors in Grand Bahama is the fact that your hotel rates were so fair to us and we are very pleased to provide continued support for Grand Bahama and we are thankful. I want to make a public appeal to corporate Bahamas. This tournament is quite an expensive venture mostly funded by the government, but we appeal to the corporate community to attempt to pull off this event in a fashion that is smooth and to do that we will need assistance.”

In the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2016, the CC Sweeting Cobras solidified their position as the top senior boys’ basketball programme in the country by claiming the National Title just two weeks after they also won the Hugh Campbell title.

The Cobras claimed the title with a 60-55 win over the St George’s Jaguars in the tournament finale. They overcame an 11-point third quarter deficit and played shorthanded with one of their top players sidelined with foul trouble.

Anderias Blacks topped his incredible tournament run with a double double and tournament MVP honours. He finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. He shot 8-11 from the field, including a ridiculous 5-6 from three-point range.


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