Tabernacle tournament draws top U.S. squads
The Rev. Norris Bain, or ‘Coach’, as he is more often called, does not brag. He states facts and for the most part, lets his leadership speak. Being the catalyst for the success of one of the most dominating high school basketball teams in Bahamian history is certainly notable.
However, being able to network with associates in the United States to bring to Grand Bahama talented teams for the annual Tabernacle High Thanksgiving Tournament is equally laudable. It is indeed praiseworthy that Bain, with his many contacts, can get teams such as Columbia High out of Decatur, Georgia to come in for the tournament. Columbia is the 12th ranked boys high school team in the United States. The team, led by Coach Phil McCrary, who is in the 500-win circle, has won state titles and is definitely high class.
The tournament that concluded at the Jack Hayward High School Gymnasium over the weekend is a prime example of Grand Bahama’s high-level role in helping to craft the sports power image of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Forming the other half of the dynamic sports extravaganza, the Tabernacle Thanksgiving Classic goes on at the same time as the Junkanoo Jam Tournament that attracts top National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) female teams. Just as the Junkanoo Jam should be marketed better, so should the Tabernacle Tournament.
Coach Bain and his assistants have been working hard with the tournament. Competitively, the 13th version was a big success, with the best from Grand Bahama, and a New Providence squad matched up against the teams from the U.S. Columbia was easily the class of the field and played true to form along the way to the title.
The tournament has the potential to be much bigger, including more American and Bahamian teams. For squads like C.I. Gibson out of New Providence, and St. George’s, Sunland, Eight Mile Rock and Tabernacle out of Grand Bahama, the opportunity to go up against the Americans is valuable for sure.
What was noteworthy as well was the orderly manner in which the event was coordinated and how the young players conducted themselves. The young Bahamian boys were at their best behavior. It was good to see young Bahamian boys functioning at such a high level of competition and maturity devoid of the negative attitudes that plague our society today.
It was a wholesome environment, young Bahamian boys engaging in hard play with pride and courage, but being young gentlemen nevertheless. It was most refreshing!
Coach Bain, Coach Kevin Johnson and their local peers are to be congratulated. They are certainly doing their part to mold leaders of the future in this country. Indeed, they fit in quite nicely with the Tabernacle Thanksgiving Tournament, a class event.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected]