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Mississippi connection strengthens through youth basketball camps

Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin is hard at it, networking to craft an Ole Miss Lady Rebels squad that she expects to be highly competitive next season. She was just given a contract extension because of the enthusiasm and expertise she has brought to the campus.

McPhee-McCuin is headed into the second year at the University of Mississippi and she recently added another piece to the puzzle. The prized point guard Jayla Alexander has signed on to play for McPhee-McCuin and the coach recently expressed excitement. “Rebel Nation should not only be excited, but it should be proud that we were able to keep one of our state’s best at home,” the coach told Ole Miss Sports News.

The Grand Bahama native has made quite an impact at Ole Miss and is the inspiration for outreach programs that further connect The Bahamas to Mississippi.

While she works toward boosting the stock of the Lady Rebels, on this side, out of

Grand Bahama, a program has been started to strengthen the Bahamas-Mississippi link. Coach McPhee-McCuin’s father, the venerable Gladstone “Moon’ McPhee, is a major coordinator of the inaugural Mississippi Travel Camps initiative.

Two teams of young players, girls and boys, will be given exposure and provided with the opportunity to expand their basketball skill sets June 20-July 2, later this year. Youngsters in the 9-16 age categories are eligible. The trip will be of 12 days’ duration and campers with coordinators and assistants will travel in and out of the United Sates via the Celebration cruise ship.

Inland transportation will be utilized to travel to Oxford, Mississippi, where the campers will be based, throughout the trip. The female campers will have the pleasure of engaging with peers from the area in a camp operated by Coach McPhee-McCuin.

“I am enthused for the young boys and girls. They might not get the real appreciation of what is happening for them. They just want to play and have fun, especially the younger ones. However, this is a historic opportunity.

“They will get to mingle in the Mississippi society, and be a part of the relationship that is building through Yolett. I believe some great things could come out of this connection. We’ll have a Bahamian member of the Lady Rebels and two players on the men’s varsity team next season.

“Years down the road for some, they might be responsible for adding to the Bahamian flavor at the University of Mississippi. We are now at the start of this relationship. Coach Yolett is in her second year and the connection figures to grow and keep on growing. What we are doing with this Mississippi travel camps program is bringing those selected players in on the ground floor of the relationship,” said Coach Gladstone McPhee.

The Mississippi Travel Camps program is being coordinated by HOYTES (Helping Our Youth through Education and Sports) and the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association.

The campers will board at Freeport for the trip.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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