Record number of participants in 'Super 60 Showdown/Hot 100 Bahamas Showcase'


Tribune Sports Reporter


INTERNATIONAL Basketball Academy Bahamas set several new initiatives in place for this year's annual showcase and it led to a record number of participants.

IBA, in conjunction with Get Me Recruited (GMR), hosted the 2017 "Super 60 Showdown/Hot 100 Bahamas Showcase" and concluded its three days of work with elite basketball trainers at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium yesterday.

The Super 60 segment is geared towards the top seniors in the country while the Hot 100 is for the top juniors among both boys and girls. Scores of players came out to seize advantage of the opportunity. The showcase featured some of the most highly touted Bahamian high school players based both locally and abroad.

IBA Bahamas director Denycko Bowles, who also serves as the head coach of the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, heads the first international branch of the IBA programme.

"The showcase is definitely growing tremendously, I would say from last year to this year there has been a vast improvement in the amount of kids that have shown up to participate. We extended the invitation to players from all the schools, not only here but in the Family Islands as well," he said. "What has keyed our massive growth this year is the fact that we have added the Hot 100 to the mix and also we have added the girls. So that accounts for the numbers. The showcase has been great. Over the past three days the kids have learned a lot. They scrimmaged, went through drills, some familiar to them, some unfamiliar to them. They have done great and as coaches we have been very pleased. Possibly from this showcase one or two of these kids can have an opportunity to further their education through basketball."

The event featured three days of drills, scrimmages and networking with coaches and scouts from programmes in the United States. "We need to start with the younger kids. At Doris Johnson I have the younger kids wanting to come into my programme and these kids seem to grasp the general concepts and can actually play basketball very well but it's not until that first day of practice when you realise that they aren't as far or don't know what you think they know," he said. "It's important to get them at an earlier age to establish that foundation, so by the time they get to the senior level it makes our jobs easier as coaches. Especially for the girls, last year they saw the success from it and many of them asked for me to help them out as well. We need girls basketball to come along further in this country and we have to continue to develop both."

In 2015, IBA Bahamas hosted 60 student-athletes to its annual combine summer camp which hosted various programme representatives from John Hopkins, Fisk University, Cape Fair Christian High School, Hallandale High school and Lamont Taylor, the CEO of GetMeRecruited.com.

IBA Bahamas and GMR continued to foster that relationship with the inaugural edition of the Super 60 Showdown last year.

Get Me Recruited is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based company whose goal is to connect high school players and college coaches through the mission statement: "To be personally involved in the collegiate basketball recruiting process one recruit at a time."

The showcase featured players from junior high schoolers to post grad unattached. In addition to the summer programmes, IBA has participated in the Summer of Thunder and travelled to AAU tournaments in the US.

"We're looking to build a bridge between America and the Bahamas because there is so much talent here," Taylor said. "The athleticism here is a step above what we've normally seen. The athleticism in these videos and in these games are well above what we're used to. If no one sees them they don't have a chance to offer them scholarships and get them to the states. We want to provide a platform where these kids can showcase their skills, get coaches looking at them and provide opportunities."


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