This is the closing day for teams to register to play in this year’s Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day Basketball Classic.
The ninth annual HOYTES AAU Basketball tournament is set to kick-off during the Labour Day weekend of June 6-8 at the St. Georges gym.
With an official name change to the Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day Classic, Founder and organizer, Gladstone “Moon” McPhee is more excited about this tournament than the ones in the past.
“I’ve waited a long time to have the name of this tournament changed to honor Sir Randol Fawkes, so I’m so happy that we’ve gotten to change the name of the tournament,” said McPhee.
“So, while I’m grateful and happy about the tournaments over the past eight years, from here on in, this tournament will honor one of my Bahamian heroes.”
This year “Moon” McPhee said that he’s expecting the participation of over 36 teams coming from the United States, Nassau, Abaco, Bimini and Grand Bahama.
Of course, “Moon” is encouraging teams from around the Family Islands to participate in the tournament.
“This is open to all players and all teams, and one island can bring as many teams as they like, as long as they are not school teams,” said McPhee.
The AAU tournament ensures that all teams are more of an All-star team, instead of school teams.
The rules also stipulate that no one team can have four players from the same school on it.
Deadline for teams to be registered is today, May 31, so that plans can go into effect to put together a schedule.
Competition will take place in three divisions 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16, although 17 year olds can play as well.
One of the results of this tournament is the selection of players for three teams which will represent The Bahamas at a basketball tournament on the West Coast later in June.
In the past, “Moon” has carried a team of 10 and older players, 14 year olds and 16 year old players.
“Moon” said that they have already identified some players for the 16- year-old squad, but is hoping to get a chance to identify even more players for that age group as well as identify players for the other two divisions from the Labour Day Tournament.
“I know that Abaco is always well represented at this tournament, so we can look for them to do the same thing this year,” said McPhee.
“Bimini always bring a team and Nassau always bring several teams.”
“Moon” said that this Labour Day tournament is more of a release for students who by that time would have completed their final exams before school closes for the summer break.
This, “Moon” says, gives kids a chance to let their hair down and really play ball without having to worry about studying for exams or worry about school.
“This tournament is like the last showcase for club teams,” said McPhee.
“We want to make sure that we pick the best talents for our teams which will travel to the West Coast.”
Up to this point, “Moon” said that they are seeking a major sponsor for the tournament.
The Asue Draw sponsored the awards at last year’s tournament, and McPhee said that they will approach them again this year in hopes of getting their support.
“This is always a very competitive tournament and we expect that kind of competition again this year, because a lot of these kids are looking to make the team that travels to the West Coast,” said McPhee.
“So, we’re looking for a great tournament and we would like the parents and family members of these players to come out to the gym and give their kids some support from the stands.”