NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Initial plans for the 2019 High School National Basketball Championships were announced yesterday by senior education officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Evon Wisdom.
The fourth edition of the championships kicked off on March 27 at both the St. George’s and Jack Hayward Gymnasiums.
“It is through our alliance with the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) that we are able to be a part of a sanctioned national tournament,” said Wisdom. “We need the public to remember that this is a national tournament, meaning that it will be governed by a different kind of rules. We understand that a team was suspended from a league. That team will be allowed to compete.
“Of course, all athletes competing will be required to present us with the proper documentation, but the rules will be slightly different. We are working closely with the BBF to ensure that all of the teams competing will be up to par. Unfortunately, we will have to eliminate the Family Island division due to a lack of funding. It hurts us to do it, but some of those teams will be moved over to the ‘Super 20’”.
The nationals will be made up of teams from the Government Secondary Schools Sporting Association (GSSSA) and the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) and the Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Sports Association (GBSSSA).
BBF second vice president Keith Smith said the nationals have gone a long way towards helping them scout talent for the men’s and women’s national teams.
“At this particular time, we have more players playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and professionally than ever,” he said. “I can attribute it to the work that is being done on the junior level with events of this nature. College scouts are constantly looking to recruit from The Bahamas now because our players are being given a platform that they never had. This also helps us to identify and hone talent from an early age, instead of waiting until they are ready for college.”
Last year, some 26 teams, inclusive of seven female squads, competed in Grand Bahama for the classic. The Islands that were represented included North and South Andros, Abaco, Cat Island, San Salvador, New Providence and Grand Bahama.