Sports

‘The Kid’ had game, style worthy of National Hall of Fame

The name of Basil “The Kid” Sands will be called on Tuesday December 3, at Government House, when members of the 2019 Bahamas National Sports Hall of Fame Class go through the induction process.

It’s a scenario that could have, should have, happened years before, but nevertheless, the moment is here. ‘The Kid’ has arrived and he will don a special jacket that will forever cement him among the elite sporting icons in Bahamian history.

Going forward, The Bahamas’ National Sports Hall of Fame will be graced with exquisite style, unique to ‘The Kid’. He was the Connie Hawkins of Bahamian basketball. Hawkins, the Brooklyn, New York native, was a magician on court, with moves to the basket, later adopted and perfected by Julius (Dr. J) Erving, David Thompson, Darrell Griffith and Michael Jordan.

If not for a point-shaving controversy (subsequently found not to be connected to him) when he was a freshman at Iowa University, Hawkins would have been one of the all-time greats of the National Basketball Association (NBA). As it was, he showcased his prime years’ skills with the Harlem Globetrotters, and in the American Basketball Association (ABA), before finally playing in the NBA (1969-76) for the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks.

Hawkins could do it all on the court. So, could ‘The Kid’.

Sands, around 6’ 2”, was not as tall as Hawkins (6’ 8”), but he played with lots of hops and electrified audiences time and time again. It could be argued that ‘The Kid’ was the most dynamic/flamboyant player to develop in Grand Bahama.

The country has produced some truly excellent backcourt players, namely, Cecil Rose, Osbourne Lockhart, Fred “Papa” Smith, Peter Brown, Sharon “The General” Storr, Tyrone “Acre” Strachan, Dewitt Hanna, Freddie McKay and others. Sands would be in my top five. Charlie Robins, former Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) President and Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 2018, shares my view.

“Yes, he is definitely top five, all-time among our guards. I thought, back then, and now, that Basil during his time, was the second-best shooting guard ever. He was that good, and, in an all-around sense, he was special. He and I were on three national teams together and you had to be ready, because he was coming with great stuff. No, there is no doubt, he was one of the princes of basketball in Grand Bahama, and the country,” said Robins.

Sands and his fellow Hall of Fame Class of 2019 mates, have had their induction delayed. They were supposed to be enshrined this very weekend, but Governor General His Excellency C.A. Smith had another engagement.

Joining Sands in the Class of 2019 are: Ray Whylly, Ambrose Gouthro, Jackie Conyers, Stancel “Stoney” Ferguson, Paul Wong, Alfred Culmer, Prince “Zorro” Stubbs (deceased), Walter Callendar (deceased), Linda Davis, Ronald Cartwright and Raymond Tucker.

Congratulations to all!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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