In an effort to showcase the local high school talent that exists in the sport of basketball in The Bahamas even more, the Street Legends Organization announced yesterday that it will stage a ‘Caribbean Kings’ Inter-Caribbean High School Basketball Tournament next week. The classic will be staged at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium from Monday April 15 to Saturday April 20.
The tournament has two portions, a Bahamian leg, and then the ‘Caribbean Kings’ segment.
The Bahamian leg will encompass 18 local teams battling for two spots from Monday to Wednesday. The two top teams will head into the ‘Caribbean Kings’ leg on Thursday to play against teams from the rest of the Caribbean.
Local teams include Jordan Prince William, Akephran International, Teleos Christian Academy, Anatol Rodgers, Queen’s College, Agape Christian out of Abaco, Government High School, St. Augustine’s College, Bahamas Elite, C.C Sweeting, South Andros High, St. John’s College and C.V Bethel just to name a few.
The visiting teams from the Caribbean include Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, Haiti and Jamaica.
“The Caribbean Kings Inter-Caribbean Championship is a scouting event created to provide an opportunity for the youth of The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean region to gain exposure which can lead to obtaining college scholarships,” said Wilton Russell, president of the Street Legends Organization. “The tournament will also serve as a measuring stick to determine the level of basketball each Caribbean country is playing at on the high school level. It is going to be a grand event and we encourage everyone to come out and support the players on the various teams.”
Already, there are eight college scouts who are confirmed to be here in The Bahamas for the tournament. The tournament will commence daily at 11 a.m.
One of the main sponsors of the event is the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. On hand to bring remarks was Director of Sports Timothy Munnings.
He said: “One of the main objectives of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is to provide access and opportunity for the Bahamian people, particularly young people. We want them to have the opportunities to excel and display their talents for scouts to see them and for them to get scholarships.”
The tournament is a double elimination one. In addition to the championship game on Saturday April 20, there will also be a slam dunk competition and a three-point competition.
Bradley Gibson, Verizon Media and Island Luck TV representative, said he was sold on the tournament.
“When Mr. and Mrs. Russell came and sat to speak with us to outline what it was, they were trying to do and to request our support, I immediately saw that this was something that had so many positive implications not just now but five, 10 years down the line from the point of view of providing a positive outlook for our youth in allowing us to integrate with other countries to meet with and compete against our neighbors in the Caribbean. We also see it as something that has so much potential moving forward from sports, tourism and having something that our youth can aspire to,” Gibson said.
He encourages Corporate Bahamas to be a part of the tournament in the future.
Also, on Saturday night, there will be entertainment by Julien Believe, the Urban Renewal Marching Band and a Junkanoo rush-out.
Tickets for adults will be $10 each and $5 each for children and high school students.
Also sponsoring the tournament this year are the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Vitamalt and the Caribbean Bottling Company.
The Streets Legends Organization was established in 2005 with a vision to “bridge the gap” between communities within The Bahamas. Since its inception, they have reached an estimated 3,000 young boys and girls annually through their sporting programs. Their largest program is their Constituency vs. Constituency Summer Basketball League.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism