Big Men On Campus
By Buster Laing
Special to The FN
Four Bahamian junior Under 16 boys' national team players from Tabernacle Baptist Academy were recognized during the School's assembly on Friday Morning after winning a bronze medal at the Centro Basketball Championships, defeating Guatemala 63-47 to advance to the FIBA Americas Championships for Under 16 players.
The four "big men on Campus," Forward Eduardo King, guard Raheem Laing, center Raymond Smith and point guard Janeko Russell, were well received by the adoring administration, faculty, staff and students at Tabernacle Baptist Academy.
"It truly makes me feel proud because of where we came from, very humble beginnings, and to have young men who are willing to buy into our program and go and represent not only Tabernacle Baptist Academy but The Bahamas, it is a very rewarding feeling," said Pastor and Administrator of Tabernacle Baptist Academy Pastor Alpheus Woodside.
"I believe all Bahamians should buy into this and support our young men hopefully these may be our future Olympians.
"We have our golden boys and golden girls and maybe hopefully in some other avenue they too can bring home gold. it is bronze today, it could be gold tomorrow."
Woodside commented on the rich basketball legacy at Tabernacle Baptist Academy, who is arguably the most winningest basketball program in the country.
"There is something call discipline and commitment...we are a very disciplined institution," said Woodside.
"We try to instill this in the hearts of our young men and young ladies and you know sometimes they want us to be their friends... Mr. Norris Bain, our Principal said one time 'you know your parents didn't send you here for us to be your friends, but they sent you here for us to teach you.'... and that is what we do, teach.
"We want to be their friends, but as you know principles come first and then friendship will follow."
Chavez Young, Jack Hayward guard and Shamal Allen, Eight Mile Rock High guard were the other Grand Bahamian players that made the national team.
The Bahamian team was coached by Quinton Hall of Eight Mile Rock High School.
The FIBA Americas Under 16 Championship will be played in Punta del Este, Uruguay June 12-16, 2013.
Note: Centro basket is a FIBA-sponsored basketball tournament where national teams from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean participate.
These countries make up the Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCENCABA).
The top three or four teams typically earn berths to the FIBA Americas Championship, from which they can qualify for the FIBA World Championship or Olympics.
In sum, 32 countries have an opportunity to qualify their national teams for Centro basket, yet all of them do not enter teams regularly.
Eight teams participated at the tournament, divided into two groups.
© 2012 The Freeport News