By Shayne Stubbs, FN Sports Reporter - Published Monday, March, 20, 2017
The Grand Bahama Sports and Travel Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards Ceremony is an event students, parents and coaches look forward to.
Set for April 30, 2017, two graduating primary (boy and girl) and two high school (boy and girl) athletes will be unveiled as the winners of the award at the Bahamas Union of Teachers Hall on Wildcat Avenue.
Along with the scholar-athletes of the year being named, one “committed” and “dedicated” coach will be saluted.
This past Friday, members of the ceremony’s committee board met at the Bishop Michael Eldon School to announce the award that would be named in honor of one who contributed as a coach at the school.
Former basketball coach at BMES Mark Wilson was involved in a car accident back in October 2016 that later claimed his life. Wilson was acknowledged as a man who did what it took to positively mold the youth, and was dedicated to his gift as a coach.
“On these hollowed asphalt basketball courts at Bishop Michael Eldon School coach Mark Wilson’s legacy was cemented,” Committee Chairman Anthony Coccia said.
“And, even though the basketball in his life stopped bouncing on October 10, 2016 the Scholar-Athlete of the Year committee came together and decided that we want to ensure that his name be remembered and his legacy continues.
“Therefore we reached out to Mark’s wife, Brooke and his family. We reached out to get consent. We will honor Coach Wilson and his legacy by awarding the Mark Wilson Coach Award for Dedication and Commitment to one of the deserving coaches in the Grand Bahama community. So, this way we can make sure that his legacy continues and what he stood for and what he brought to our youth is remembered,” Coccio further started.
Judging and Selection Committee Member Buster Laing expressed that Wilson was a person who worked hard in or out of the spotlight.
“If they won one game, he was committed. If they won 10 games he was committed. So when we approached his wife, she was taken aback and even shed a tear. But, it goes to show that we need to remember people while they’re alive. We found it so fitting to name the coach’s award after Mark for his commitment and dedication to youth and also academics and athletics,” said Laing.
Along with being the Warriors’ senior boys’ head coach, Wilson also founded the Greater Heights Youth Organization. He along with Coach Patrick Duncombe worked with their boys’ and girls’ teams during past trips to basketball tournaments in the United States.
Wilson’s vision for the group was to empower young men and women to be outstanding citizens. The overall vision and mission for the group was and remains to be at the epicenter of change throughout the community and to unearth the spirit of excellence, genius and leadership that exists in every child, according to the organizers.
Published Monday, March, 20, 2017