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Thompson’s historic career revisited in documentary

Sports Scope
  • Obie Wilchcombe.


Published: Oct 04, 2013

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On Tuesday evening of this week, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe caused a significant and rich piece of Bahamian history to unfold. It was in the form of a special one-hour documentary on Mychal ‘Sweet Bells’ Thompson that was aired on the three local television networks.

The producers and masterminds of the product, Gina Rodgers-Sealy and Kevin Taylor, created the documentary upon the request of Wilchcombe. The product is a manifestation of a vision that could eliminate totally, the nonchalant attitude in this country toward those who contributed mightily to the nation’s development process.

Wilchcombe was a media giant before he metamorphosed into a full-time politician. He understands well, the value of recording information for posterity. Thompson was one of the standout performers in basketball, on the biggest stage in the world, the NBA. He won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that, he was on the greatest high school team, ever, in the state of Florida (Miami Jackson High) and subsequently, one of the finest players in the history of collegiate basketball in the United States. Further proof of his place in history was the noteworthy milestone he attained in 1978 by being the first player drafted into the NBA. At the same time, he touched history in another fashion, as the first foreign-born player to achieve such an honor.

For 13 years, he was exemplary as a player and as a member of the general NBA fraternity. Yet many Bahamians who came into the world over the last two decades knew very little or nothing of this legendary son of the soil. There are many others like Thompson who served The Bahamas on various world sports stages to the highest degree.

It is a real pleasure to see that finally recognition has come to one of the political

directorate, that documenting the exploits of our sports heroes makes really good sense.

Mr. Tourism Minister, you have started a wonderful trend. Let’s hope that you are minded toward continuity of such documentaries. I believe they should continue to be produced and aired nationally. Also, they should officially be placed into the curriculum of schools. The production of documentaries should become a significant part of the ‘Bahamian History’ that is taught to students for generations to come.

There are some important societal needs that should be subsidized. I believe electronic and print products should be produced, just as the Mychal Thompson documentary was, for the benefit of educating students. Thus, they will have a very good idea always, going forward, upon whose shoulders they stand.

Well done, Minister Wilchcombe and your team!

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


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