‘Summer of Thunder’ to get underway tonight at Kendal Isaacs
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Aug 02, 2013
The Manhattan University Jaspers will be the first of 12 teams competing in the 5th Annual BTC Summer of Thunder Classic.
The Jaspers will take to the court against the PJ’s Stingers tonight at 7 o’ clock. at the Kendal GL Isaacs National Gymnasium. They will take on the Commonwealth Bank Giants on Saturday, and the New Providence All-star squad on Sunday, both games at 4 p.m.
The other teams to be hosted by the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) this summer are the University of Mississippi team, the Maryland Terrapins, the Auburn Tigers and teams from South Carolina State, Canisius College, Bradley University, Kent State University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and the Mickey’s All-Stars. The teams from Maryland and Auburn will get into town on Saturday, but won’t start play until Monday.
According to Sean Bastian, director for the BBF for international tournaments, this venture, if executed properly, can generate millions of dollars in sports tourism for The Bahamas. Bastian has already received a number of letters and informal requests from athletic directors from a few colleges and universities.
“A lot of teams want to be a part of this classic because it gives coaches an opportunity to see how they can mesh freshmen and senior players together,” said Bastian. “This is huge for The Bahamas because it promotes basketball and generates tourism dollars. We already have two teams booked for next year. When the classic is finished at the end of the month, four or five more colleges or universities would have confirmed by then.
“In the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), every four years, these basketball programs are allowed to make a trip. If we can get them to make The Bahamas their destination of choice every time, then we know that the program is successful. Most of the teams want to come to a safe place and compete while enjoying a relaxing vacation with an incredible ambience. Most of the colleges and universities choose here over Europe. The most important thing for the BBF is to organize it properly and with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism, it can be done.”
The BBF will also host a three-day coaching course over at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island this weekend. The panel of guest speakers includes a number of high level, well-respected and recognized international coaches such as Vivian Stringer, Alex English, Ronnie Arrow and Mike Daniel. The clinic has attracted coaches from the United States of America (USA), Haiti, and other regional countries.