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HOYTES Sir Randol Basketball Classic sparks interest in Grand Bahama

  • Charlie ‘Softly’ Robins. FILE

FRED STURRUP
SPORTS SCOPE

Published: Jun 22, 2013

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More than 300 young basketball enthusiasts from Grand Bahama, Abaco and New Providence took part in the recent HOYTES Sir Randol Fawkes Basketball Classic, staged at the St. George’s High School Gymnasium.

The event was successful and an appropriate tribute to the late Bahamian hero. The tournament fitted quite well into the period designated officially for Sir Randol, as the Labour Day holiday now bears his name. The competition itself showcased a large number of male and female players who exhibited tenacity and determination, characteristics that were synonymous with Sir Randol. In the end, champions emerged. The Abaco Crusaders were excellent. They brought the kind of game that was much too consistent for their rivals in the 17-18 male category.

The Stingers captured the 15-16 division, Showtime was the best in the 13-14 boys, HOYTES won the 11-12 division, the Showtime team was the class of the 9-10 division and HOYTES reigned supreme among the 7-8 boys.

Quite worthy of mention is the 15-16 female team from HOYTES. The only female team in attendance, HOYTES played with the males and created history by beating the Catholic High boys. It marked the first time that a female team was able to defeat male counterparts in an official HOYTES tournament. I’m still checking around, but the accomplishment might actually be a first in the history of sports in the country.

So far, I have not found anyone who knows of another female team of the same age category, winning against males. Shannon Miller, Dazanae Jones, Daznielle Jones, Phillippa Greene, Paula Greene, Shalanda Neely, Tiyana Davis, Tamya Davis and Charlotte McDonald are to be especially congratulated. They are a source of inspiration for female players of all disciplines throughout the nation.

Perhaps someone like Arnold (now ‘Bain Man’) Bain, a former president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) and a historian of the game, might be able to verify the historic status of the HOYTES female squad. Their courageous and defiant performance on the court was astounding. Amazingly, they played their male foes and gave no quarters. They grabbed rebounds. They snatched loose balls. They bodied up on defense and were not tentative at all. On offense, even in the games other than against Catholic High boys, they were respected.

Although the male Stingers eventually won the division, the HOYTES ladies were fantastic. In the aftermath of the Sir Randol classic, parents have been making constant contact with HOYTES founder Coach Gladstone ‘Moon’ McPhee. Parents with children in the program are interested in enrolling the rest of the youngsters from the respective homes. A good bit of newcomers are about to sign up as well.

It was good to see BBF President Charlie ‘Softly’ Robins observing the action. The presence of the BBF chief was significant. He was able to get a firsthand view of one of the support products for his organization’s national program. It would be well in order for the BBF to develop a working relationship with programs such as HOYTES, that are capable of adding much to the development process of the game of basketball in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Once that happens, then Bahamian basketball would rise to the top position in the Caribbean again and stand poised to make a huge international breakthrough.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

 


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