As The Bahamas captures the attention of the basketball world with its abundance of talent, Bahamian coach Marvin Henfield has decided to open what he calls the first indoor shooting gym in the country. As a venue for the Marvin Henfield Basketball Shooting Academy, he’s calling the gym ‘The Lab’. It is set to be fully opened on November 15.
Located on Thompson Boulevard in New Providence behind Jones Communications, the first-of-its-kind gym in The Bahamas will feature 10 indoor rims and 10 outdoor rims. Guardian Sports caught up with Henfield at the facility where he was doing some work.
“We’re basically changing the game here in the country,” Henfield said about the facility. “Most of our sports, for those persons who engage in training, and even those who are recreational, a lot of that stuff is done outside and with the elements. So, here in New Providence, we get the distinct privilege of creating something that has been in need here in the country. We’re creating a space whereby athletes, those kids, young kids, can train.”
Out of the five core skills of basketball, Henfield said that shooting is his passion. Over the 14 years that he has been working with pro athletes and young players, the COVID-19 pandemic has given him a different
perspective on how to go about creating efficient shooters in the country.
“During this pandemic, I was moved to get this done because a lot of kids could not do group training by virtue of the pandemic. And what this space does, and the vision we have in the immediate plans, is to be able to get those kids out their house and get them back into basketball training. They can do it in an individualized setting,” Henfield said.
He added, “We can have 10 kids for an hour that can train on their own with their own basketball and we can go through our shooting sessions with them and then on the off days, those same kids can access the outdoor courts with another group of 10 kids. Everything will be within the realms of the pandemic and the codes like wearing face masks. Our entire staff for our facility are all vaccinated, so we’re excited about that.”
Henfield has worked with Bahamian players such as reigning Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jonquel “JJ” Jones, the first Bahamian WNBA player to be drafted Walteia Rolle, former University of Texas player Shaquille Cleare, Ole Miss Rebels forward Sammy Hunter and University of Akron Zips guard Garvin Clarke, just to list a few.
Henfield is no stranger to scouts who have come to The Bahamas for talent and see Bahamian players, and have reported on their athleticism and speed. He wants Bahamian players to add the shooting aspect to their athleticism and speed.
“The pandemic gave me a lot of time to spend perfecting that system, and it’s a shooting system that I’ve been able to, over the last 14 years, put into basically seven steps. I’ve been fortunate in recognizing, particularly the work that I’ve done in the last nine months outdoors, individually during the pandemic. Things that used to take me three months to articulate and teach the kids in shooting, I’m now able to accomplish that in three sessions. It’s one of the things to really make a big change in the game, and I hope to, as I often say, that The Bahamas could become the Dominican Republic of baseball or the Jamaica of sprints, so when you think of shooting or shooters, you’d think of The Bahamas,” Henfield said.
The coach wants to see more Bahamians shoot like Bahamian professional basketball player Chavano “Buddy” Hield – the 2020 MTN Dew NBA Three-Point Contest Champion. Then, there are top shooters who are also in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with Bahamian descent, namely the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson and the Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon.
The workout plan for the gym includes two sessions in one week and three sessions the following week, which Henfield calls 2-3-2-3; then there is the 3-2-3-2, where its three sessions in one week and two sessions the following week; then, there is an unlimited plan.
The surface of the facility is concrete at the moment but Henfield has plans to make the floor rubberized and install air-conditioning. He plans to have it open seven days a week. There are also plans to use the facility for 3-on-3 basketball, which is now an Olympic sport. Once that is in place, he plans to have both recreational and competitive 3-on-3 basketball leagues for all ages. He has ordered shooting machines that will be in place by December 2021.
While he is launching the gym here on New
Providence, Henfield is looking to expand into Grand Bahama and the Family Islands in the near future. He wants to develop the talent in those islands as well.
“We have plans to expand this model of what we’re creating here in Nassau,” Henfield said. “We have a planned strategic business strategy to expand first in Nassau within six months to be in another sized facility, bigger than the one we’re in. We plan to start testing our model in the Family Islands within two and a half months and we envision that within six months from our launch, we can be in the Family Islands.
“It is envisioned, based on the possibility, and I said in two months, we’re going to start the testing. So, just from a soft conversation, we know that that could possibly be something in Grand Bahama, Exuma, or Abaco and the way that looks is that’s either going to be a change for us or it’s going to be an additional location that we create to the two we have in Nassau at that time. It can be a franchise opportunity for us, or for someone in the Family Islands or just another Bahamian.”
Henfield has an open house planned for 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. this coming Saturday October 30 at the facility. ‘The Lab’s’ website is www.mhbshootingacademy.com and its Instagram page is mhbshootingacademy. Some of the work he has done over the years can be found on his Instagram page at Marvin J. Henfield.