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Registration deadline for popular classic set for next Monday

  • UP FOR GRABS: Minister Carlos Reid (green jersey) and Leader of the Opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis (blue jersey) go up for a jump ball during the pastors versus the politicians game in this file photo. That game is expected to be the main attraction, once again, of this Nelson Cooper “Peace on the Streets” Basketball Classic. The tournament will be held July 17-20 at the Kendal GL Isaacs National Gymnasium, and the deadline for entry is Monday July 15. TNG SPORTS PHOTO

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Jul 11, 2013

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With the 18th Annual Nelson Cooper “Peace on the Streets” Basketball Classic rapidly approaching, organizer Carlos Reid is urging teams to sign up by this Monday. The July 15 date will serve as the final deadline for teams interested in competing in this year’s classic.

Already, about 20 teams have signed up in the five divisions, and in addition, there are two verbal commitments from teams in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Reid said that his goal is to fill each division with about eight teams each which will solidify the field and pave the way for a truly competitive tournament. The tournament will be held July 17-20 at the Kendal GL Isaacs National Gymnasium, and the divisions include 13-and-under, 16-and-under, 19-and-under, church and open.

“Everyone is excited about the classic, but the date is rapidly approaching so we need to get a count on the number of teams,” said Reid yesterday. “Saturday is the day when everyone wants to be out. The politians and pastors game is garnering a lot of hype. I think that in particular is going to be very competitive this year because the politicians are tired of losing, and they are expected to introduce some new talent this year like Renardo Curry. I think it is going to be much more competitive than the previous three contests. Also, the slam dunk championship is expected to be very exciting. A couple of dunkers are coming from the United States, including the defending champion “Worm”. That event should really be a crowd pleaser,” he added.

The winner of the slam dunk competition will receive a 50-inch plasma television, the second place finisher will get a 42-inch television and the third place finisher will get a Samsung Galaxy S3, all courtesy of the event’s sponsor, Phil’s Food Services. The annual celebrity game featuring the pastors versus the politicians is expected to be the main attraction again though. The pastors have defeated the politicians all three times they have met. This year’s game will be dedicated in memory of the late minister of sports, Charles Maynard.

“What we’re going to do is have all the players sign a ball, and we’ll give it to his Charlie’s widow,” said Reid. “We want to honor Mr. Maynard for everything that he would have done for the development of sports in this country. He was a good sports minister and he did a lot to assist us in this tournament in particular. In general, we just want people to come out and support our efforts, and support peace on the streets.”

The annual pastors versus politicians game is the featured event on the final night of the classic, “Family Night”. According to reports, the pastors will be coached by Bishop Neil Ellis and the politicians will be coached by Prime Minister Perry Christie with Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage assisting. Also scheduled for Saturday July 20 is the championship games in all divisions, the Three-Point Shootout Contest and the Phil’s Food Services Slam Dunk Contest which has been feature on ESPN for the past two years. Action on “Family Night” is expected to get underway at 5 p.m.

This year, the classic is being held under the theme, “Bringing Hope to the Hopeless”. Minister Reid, the director of Youth Against Violence, said that they are delighted to be staging the tournament again, and look forward to a record number of players and teams.

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