Put an asterisk next to the National HS Basketball Championships
For posterity’s sake, put an asterisk next to the 2019 Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships.
There must be a footnote applied, indicating that this year’s event does not represent fully the high schools across the Bahamian archipelago. Some have been left out this time. Granted, as Ministry of Education Senior Sports Officer and Event Chief Coordinator Evon Wisdom was blunt about, there have been financial cutbacks by the present central administration across the board.
As a direct result, he was not afforded sufficient funds to cover the cost to bring all of the usual representative squads to require the Family Islands category of the championships. Therefore, there was no Family Islands Division when this year’s version of the high school basketball classic began on Thursday in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Other than a good group of teams from the host island Grand Bahama and the capital of New Providence, just Abaco and Bimini were scheduled representatives from the Family Islands. This means, in essence, the event does not accurately reflect a “total national” status.
Long Island, Exuma, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Acklins, Mayaguana, Inagua, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Ragged Island have been left out of the mix this time around.
So yes, an asterisk must be attached to the tagged 2019 Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships. Don’t just rely on the position taken in this forum to determine how you describe the competition.
None other than Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) President Charlie “Softly” Robins lamented the absence of so many of the islands. He spoke in particular about the islands of the south – San Salvador, Mayaguana, etc. One could very well understand Robins’ deep-rooted attachment to the Family Islands and his desire for a balanced playing field.
Especially since the majority of the Family Islands are not afforded the same ongoing exposure and development opportunities as their peers in the more affluent areas of The Bahamas, it is regrettable that they are the exact ones being left out of the mix this time around. Robins is a Family Islander.
He came out of Bimini to become a legendary high school basketball star. It could be debated as to whether all-around he remains the finest ever high school basketball player who performed here in The Bahamas. There is no argument however, about who was the most colorful and electrifying. Robins was without a doubt.
So, this tall, gangling youngster came out of Bimini and climbed the ladder of basketball success. Others from the Family Islands deserve the same option.
While there is no intent here to dilute the performances of the young athletes who will be showcased this weekend in Freeport at the two primary gymnasiums, on the campuses of St. George’s High and Jack Hayward High, the event simply does not represent all of The Bahamas.
Every effort should be made so that the same situation does not occur next year.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.