Sports

No Battle 4 Atlantis tournaments this year

After it was initially said that the popular Battle 4 Atlantis Classic will be headed to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this year, organizers are now confirming that this year’s edition of the Bad Boy Mower’s Battle 4 Atlantis Men’s Tournament and the Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament will be canceled as a result of the presence of the crippling COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made late last week after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that division one men and women’s basketball will resume on November 25.

Organizers plan to bring the men’s tournament back in 2021, and introduce the women’s tournament that same time.

It comes as no surprise that the tournaments are canceled as the host hotel, the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, has not reopened as yet, and has no confirmed date to reopen its doors. The hotel was shut down in late March because of the pandemic, prompting rumors that it might be headed elsewhere.

“We have made the difficult decision to put on hiatus this year’s Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournaments. Unfortunately, some of the limitations on international travel due to COVID-19 led us to this decision. We are excited to resume the Battle 4 Atlantis NCAA basketball tournaments in November 2021,” said President and Managing Director of Atlantis Audrey Oswell.

One of the travel restrictions for persons coming into The Bahamas is the quarantining for 14 days upon arrival, once a negative RT-PCR test result is presented no more than five days prior to date of arrival.

On Twitter, on Friday September 18, Atlantis distanced itself from any tournament that will be held in South Dakota.

“We have not relocated the event to Sioux Falls, SD. Any reported mentions of this are incorrect. Atlantis and Battle 4 Atlantis is not affiliated with the upcoming events scheduled to take place in SD,” Atlantis tweeted.

For the men, this year’s field of teams included the ever-dangerous Duke University Blue Devils, the Ohio State University Buckeyes, the West Virginia University Mountaineers, the Creighton University Bluejays, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Utah Utes, the Marshall University Thundering Herd and the Wichita State Shockers.

Duke won the 2012 edition of the tournament. Other than the Blue Devils, the Buckeyes and Utes have at least one NCAA national championship trophy in their trophy case.

Making their debut were the Mountaineers, the Buckeyes and the Bluejays.

Last year, the University of Michigan Wolverines won the title. They routed the Gonzaga University Bulldogs in the championship game, 82-64.

Over in the women’s bracket, the Associated Press’ number one and two teams respectively, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the University of Oregon Ducks, led a talented field. The other teams were the Central Michigan University Chippewas, the Marquette University Golden Eagles, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, the University of Oklahoma Sooners, the University of South Florida Bulls and the Syracuse University Orange.

The men’s field for the 2021 tournament is already known and includes the 2015 Battle 4 Atlantis Champion, the Syracuse Orange. The other teams are the University of Connecticut Huskies, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Arizona State University Sun Devils, the Auburn University Tigers, the Michigan State University Spartans, the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams and the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers.

The Huskies is set to make their third tournament appearance while the Orange, Spartans and the Rams will make their second appearance each. The Ramblers, Red Raiders, Sun Devils and the Tigers will be making their debut.

The women’s teams for the 2021 edition is not known as yet.

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 (Spartans), Tavario Miller (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 (Mavericks), Quinn Cook (Los Angeles Lakers), Danuel House Jr. (Houston Rockets) and Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets).

The men’s tournament was first introduced in 2010.

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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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