Wilchcombe highlights growth of Sport Tourism with Bahamian athletes' international success

by: Jaimie Smith, News Reporter - Published Friday, June 19, 2015

The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism and the Member of Parliament (MP) for West End Grand Bahama addressed members in the House of Assembly (HOA) on Wednesday with a number of aspects relating to the 2015/2106 Budget Debate, highlighting various initiatives that have been implemented under his portfolios as Minister of Tourism.

Singling out the area of Sports Tourism, Wilchcombe noted that the Ministry of Tourism reached out to Klay Thompson, son of Bahamian NBA star Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson, who recently won his first NBA championship title along with his teammates of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday to win their first NBA championship title in 40 years.

According to Wilchcombe, â We have to be great at what we do. Tourism is our number one industry. I am very pleased to tell this house that we are doing better today that we did many years ago. Klay Thompson is the son of Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson. He today is celebrating the NBA championship that they won last night. Today Mr. Speaker, my ministry reached out, he is coming to The Bahamas next month. We are going to have a major reception for him in The Bahamas Mr. Speaker and we are going to work with that son of a Bahamian to ensure that he is a part of what we are doing, Mr. Speaker." 

He further stated that not only is the newly crowned NBA Champion travelling to The Bahamas in the near future but many of his teammates will travel to the islands as well. "Not only is Klay coming but many of his teammates will also come to The Bahamas. They will come and they will participate in the Jeff Rogers Camp as well. They will be in the Bahamas participating. People want this country; this is a great country because we are doing better than most countries. We are doing exceptionally well." 

" There are just three father son relationships; players that have happened in the NBA, where they won championship rings. One of them happens to be Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson." 

Wilchcombe noted that the senior Thompson travels to he country of his birth annually during the summer. "I want to congratulate him because he is going to Grand Bahama next month. He is participating in the Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Foundation and a golf tournament that we sponsor. He wants to play a role in The Bahamas. I am hoping that within the next couple of weeks, the Independence Committee is able to agree with the ministries responsible for sports and tourism the road to the entrance to the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium will be named in honor of Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson. We have never honored him Mr. Speaker and we want to do that while they are here." 

Born in Nassau, Mychal Thompson played professional basketball in the United States for the Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angels Lakers.

The Mychal Thompson Foundation (MTF) introductory event is scheduled to take place on Grand Bahama June 16th 18th, 2015. The event is in memory of Thompsonâ s father, Dewitt Thompson. As one of its objectives, the foundation will include a scholarship program. Registered students will be selected for the scholarship by a panel based on their academic achievements and basketball skills. The MTF event will also include introductory sessions at the Eight Mile Rock High School, The Grand Bahama Port Authority complex as well at a location to be disclosed in High Rock. During these events, Thompson will interact with young persons (both boys and girls) residing the Grand Bahama communities. Other guests are expected to bring remarks during the anticipated three day event.


Published  Friday, June 19, 2015

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