For the second year in a row, the Bahamas will once again witness another high school basketball national championship.
This past Wednesday at the St. Georges’ Gymnasium, officials made it known that on March 1-6, teams throughout the country will once again be in Grand Bahama seeking to become national champions.
Along with the Sports Administrator for the Ministry of Education Evon Wisdom, Local Organizing Committee member Norris Bain, law enforcement officials Superintendent Kevin Mortimir and ASP Michael Brathwaite, and Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association President Kenton Rolle, Bahamas Basketball Federation President Charles “Softly” Robins introduced the teams expected to compete.
Robins first voiced that it is a pleasure to once again host this tournament. He furthered that he, along with Wisdom, Bain and Rolle wanted this tournament to be a fixed date on the calendar so that the islands would actually be ready to attend this tournament whenever it’s called.
“There will be 12 senior boys teams; seven from New Providence and five from Grand Bahama. We also have our senior girls. We have nine senior girls basketball teams; three from Grand Bahama and six from New Providence. We have the family islands in which we have the top six family island teams.”
Making up the senior boys field will be the defending national champion C.C Sweeting Cobras, C.I Gibson Rattlers, Anatol-Rodgers Timberwolves, Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, St. Augustine’s Big Red Machine, Jordan Prince William Falcons, Tabernacle Falcons, St. George’s Jaguars, Sunland Stingers, Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays and Jack Hayward Wildcats. One more school will be named at a later date.
The senior girls’ division will feature the Tabernacle Falcons, Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors, Blue Jays, Mystic Marlins, Rattlers, C.V Bethel Sting Rays, JPW Falcons, Kings Way Academy, and St. John’s College.
Robins also announced that not only will the senior boys receive rings, the senior girls will play for national championship rings as well.
Robins then announced the expected islands to be represented for the Family Islands which include: Bimini, Eleuthera, Andros and San Salvador. The remaining teams will be chosen after the Hugh Campbell Tournament (February 20-27) is completed.
The format of the tournament will be double elimination style.
Wisdom voiced this tournament is an event long overdue for everyone involved.
“It is through our alliance with the federation that we get to be a part of a sanctioned national celebration and I want the general public to know that many times persons call things national championships and they are not unless they are sanctioned by the individual authority that governs that particular sport in the given country.
“We are happy to be back in Grand Bahama and I would like to let the public know that one of the most influential factors in Grand Bahama is the fact that your hotel rates were so fair to us and we are very pleased to provide continued support for Grand Bahama and we are thankful.
“I want to make a public appeal to corporate Bahamas. This tournament is quite an expensive venture mostly funded by the government, but we appeal to the corporate community to attempt to pull off this event in a fashion that is smooth and to do that we will need assistance.”
Bain described the tournament as an economic win for the host island and the development of the game.
“This is going to be good for Grand Bahama. It’ll be great basketball, we will have 10th Year Seniors live streaming so those persons who are unable to travel, their friends and family in the family islands and in the United States will be able to watch the action online.
“Certainly you will see a transformation of the St George’s Gymnasium. We want you to come out and see all the activities we will have in store. We will be able to put vendors on the outside and create a truly family atmosphere. We know that Grand Bahama is the basketball capital of The Bahamas and we expect great fan participation. We are looking to do some giveaways and we are really looking forward to a great tournament this year.”
Rolle applauded the effort of everyone involved in the planning of the tournament.
“I am so pleased that the government, BBF and local association is working together for one goal. We didn’t think this would be possible last year, but it was an excellent event and it is back this year all because of the cooperation between these organizations.”
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2017