Basketball

Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin to headline HOYTES Day

by: Fred Sturrup, Sports Scope

The women's basketball head coach job Yolett McPhee-McCuin took at Jacksonville University is still creating a stir. The historic milestone has placed Coach McPhee-McCuin in the headlines both in this country and Jacksonville, Florida.

The expectations are great.

In this country, the coach continues to be a big conversation piece in sporting circles and otherwise. She had been appointed womenâ s national coach by The Bahamas Basketball Federation prior to taking the job at Jacksonville but it now seems her " Bahamian"  role will be much larger.

Actually she is a piece of the puzzle for the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Dr. Daniel Johnson.

The National Sports Academy that he is driving for the government will only succeed if in place are quality mentors of the ilk of McPhee-McCuin who can at least give advice.

Her dad, Coach Gladstone â Moonâ McPhee is not going to be left out of the mix. He is planning to request that she play a major part in several activities planned by HOYTES, the youth development organization he started.

Coach McPhee-McCuin came out of HOYTES and no doubt will not have a problem giving back to the program. Coach Gladstone is in the initial stage of organizing a major HOYTES Day in Grand Bahama.

It is hoped that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture as well as the Bahamas Olympic Committee will be involved to some degree.

He disclosed however that no formal invitation has yet been made to those two entities. The HOYTES Day according to Coach Gladstone will be a spectacular occasion for young boys and girls involved with the program now and all those who participated from the inception in 1986. The structure of the event has not been completed, but basketball matches featuring HOYTES players will be key items on the agenda.

The role Coach McPhee-McCuin will play has not been decided yet, but the idea is for her to network with all of the HOYTES family, and those from the Olympic Movement, if the BOC comes on board.

"This is huge. We've got a great opportunity to showcase someone who has achieved something really great. Yes, Yolett is my daughter, but I would be quite proud of any Bahamian who accomplished a head coaching job at a noted university in the United States. It is a fact that she is my daughter and also that she came out of my program.

"So we will maximize the opportunity for HOYTES. I will speak with her about the details. I believe June will be the best time for her, given how busy she is now. As soon as I can confirm that, we will finalize the arrangements for the big HOYTES Day in Grand Bahama. I'm going to be very pleased to see all of the HOYTES graduates, not just Yolett," said Coach Gladstone.

He has big plans for the event and is already talking about it becoming an annual event and evolving into a national happening once the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture accepts the format.

"Grand Bahama needs some exciting events. These last few years have been low for Grand Bahama. I'm happy to be expanding the HOYTES program at this time because this is a way to develop some vibrancy in the island, through sports. A lot will be happening with HOYTES going forward," added Coach McPhee.

For now though, focus is on the Sir Randol Fawkes Labor Day Classic and the HOYTES Day.

The Sir Randol Fawkes Classic is scheduled for June 8-9.

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

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