Sports

Battle 4 Atlantis returns

Atlantis set to host 10th edition; women’s tournament added

The popular Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Men’s College Basketball Tournament is set to make a return to The Bahamas for its 10th edition after skipping 2020 due to the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic. That tournament is set for November 24-26 inside the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.

In addition to that tournament, there will be the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Basketball Tournament, set for the week before the men’s tournament, November 20-22. Both are National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DI tournaments.

Vice-President of Sales at Atlantis, Ted Adderley, said that the resort is excited for those two weeks.

“We have an exciting year coming up for two reasons. One of those reasons is it will be the first time we are going to have women’s basketball. It is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase the women’s program for these universities with a top team like the University of Connecticut coming in. The second reason is that during Thanksgiving week, it will be our 10th anniversary of the men’s tournament. It becomes an incredible time for us because we have hosted the men’s tournament for 10 years. We are the leading early-season basketball tournament in college basketball – it is a great feat for us to have accomplished in the nine years running,” Adderley said.

The men’s tournament will feature Arizona State University, Auburn University, Loyola University Chicago, Michigan State University, Syracuse University, University of Connecticut, Virginia Commonwealth University and Baylor University.

In the latest Associated Press (AP) rankings, in March, Baylor was ranked at number three in the country. Loyola Chicago was ranked at number 17.

Other than Connecticut, the women’s tournament will feature University of South Carolina, University at Buffalo, University of Oklahoma, University of Oregon, University of South Florida, University of Minnesota and Syracuse.

Connecticut fell to the University of Arizona in the NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game last season. In the latest AP rankings, in March, they are the number one team in the country. South Carolina sits at number six and South Florida is ranked at number 19.

Adderley said that Battle 4 Atlantis has come a long way over the years. 

“When we first started this venture as Battle 4 Atlantis, we put a tremendous amount of effort to create a basketball tournament that you can bring to a resort, create a basketball court, design an arena and pull off a basketball tournament with all the aspects at Atlantis. It creates a wonderful effect to where they would normally be.

“When we first started out, no one was aware of how well we could have put it on. Now that we are in our 10th year and the leading early season tournament, all of them want to come. The only thing is they are not allowed to come every year per NCAA rules. The top universities came to us more than once. It is a statement on how well and professional we run that tournament and all aspects of it.”

With the just concluded and successful BIG3 playoffs and championship game, along with the hosting of University of Indiana’s basketball team, Adderley said that The Bahamas’ sports tourism product is growing.

“We know that sports tourism is a growing market and obviously there are two sides to sports tourism. There is the side that’s televised like Battle 4 Atlantis and the BIG3. In between there, we hosted the University of Indiana. They came down on their own and hosted a team out of Serbia. We are known for that, and we also hosted the Miami Heat to a preseason training camp. This week, we will have Houston Rockets. We have the capabilities and it is out there that we can host and put on a tournament event or we have the capabilities for NBA teams to come down to their preseason workouts,” he said.

The prestigious tournament has featured some Bahamians including now National Basketball 

Association (NBA) players Chavano “Buddy” Hield (Sacramento Kings) and DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix Suns). Other Bahamians who have played in the tournament are Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. (Michigan State Spartans), Tavario Miller (Texas A&M Aggies) and Dwight Coleby (Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers).

Other than Hield and Ayton, several other Battle 4 Atlantis alumni have played in the NBA. These include Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Jalen Brunson (Dallas Mavericks), Mikal Bridges (Suns), Donte DiVincenzo (Milwaukee Bucks), Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers), Quinn Cook (free agent), Danuel House Jr. (Rockets) and Mason Plumlee (Charlotte Hornets).

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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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