Baha Mar Hoops to feature 19 NCAA teams during Thanksgiving

The Baha Mar Resort Convention Center will be busy during Thanksgiving Week as they stage the first edition of the Baha Mar Hoops event that will see 19 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I basketball teams taking part in three tournaments. The event, which was officially launched yesterday at a press conference at the Baha Mar Resort, is set for November 22-27.

The Baha Mar Hoops event will feature the Nassau Championship, the Pink Flamingo Championship and the Bahamas Championship.

President of bdGlobal Sports Brooks Downing, who ensured that the tournament is held here in The Bahamas, said it will put heads in beds and will be exciting.

“I am excited as we continue to make this a destination location for international sporting events. I am very grateful for the opportunity that we have been given by The Bahamas and Baha Mar to bring content here that will drive economic activity and set up a platform for future tourism,” Downing said.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said it was great to see events like these happening after tourism was virtually shut down last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am delighted to thank bdGlobal Sports for causing this event to come to The Bahamas as The Bahamas is becoming more of a destination for sports and multiple events. We are delighted that this Baha Mar Hoops event will be here, and we expect it to be very successful,” D’Aguilar said.

President of Baha Mar resort Graeme Davis said he is looking forward to hosting the teams in November.

“We are very excited to be welcoming 19 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams. We hope hundreds, if not more, fans come here to Baha Mar and to The Bahamas. This is the first of what we are hoping and expecting, for many more years, to be incredible basketball and an incredible tourism product. We expect this to be a great Baha Mar experience for sports enthusiasts for years to come,” Davis said. “We are excited to start this event, and also with another event that is going on at the same time at Atlantis. These are teams that cannot compete at the same place each year, so it’s not competition. It’s bringing more tourism to The Bahamas and it’s an exceptional way for all of us to grow together to bring more tourists and success to The Bahamas.”

The basketball action tips off on Monday, November 22 with the eight-team Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship. The men’s tournament, which is designed strictly for mid-major NCAA Division I programs, is in its fourth iteration after launching in 2017. The field is headlined by 2021 NCAA Tournament Cinderella team Abilene Christian University, which won the Southland Conference title last season and upset the number three seeded University of Texas Longhorns in the NCAA Tournament’s first round. It also features Toledo University and Coastal Carolina University, of which Grand Bahamian Ahmad Harvey, 6’7” forward, is a team member.

All 12 games of the Nassau Championship will be broadcasted on FloHoops.

The college basketball’s top women’s programs take the floor in the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship starting on Thursday, November 25 with six of the seven participating teams having played in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The majority of teams will play two games each, on Thursday and Saturday, but Stanford University will play three straight days, Thursday to Saturday. North Carolina State University, Indiana University, Washington State University and the University of Maryland are some of the other teams playing in the Pink Flamingo Championship.

All seven games of the Pink Flamingo Championship will be broadcasted on FloHoops.

Four top programs in college basketball for the upcoming season will compete in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship on November 25 and 27. It will feature the University of Louisville, Maryland, the University of Richmond and Mississippi State University. Maryland is expected to once again be a top-25 team. Richmond made a deep run in last season’s NCAA Tournament with wins over Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Loyola-Chicago.

All-in-all, it is expected to be an exciting week of high level basketball competition at Baha Mar.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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