Two of the country’s top high school basketball prospects opened the 2018-19 season at the Caribbean Classic Tip-off over the weekend at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Forward Kai Jones represented the Brewster Academy out of New Hampshire, while Samuel Hunter represented British Columbia (BC) Christian at the three-day event. Along with Brewster and BC Christian, teams from The Bahamas, Canada and Finland participated in the early-season tournament.
Local teams that participated included St George’s, Tabernacle Baptist, Anatol Rodgers, St. Augustine’s College and C.I. Gibson.
“It’s great that I was able to get my season going with my team at home,” Hunter said.
“We have a good team. It’s my first season with them and I’m looking forward to growing with them as the season goes. This is my last year before college, and I’m trying hard to work on my defense. I know that’s going to be key for me going into the next level of the game.”
Both Hunter and Jones committed to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I schools over the summer.
“It’s good to get some runs against some pretty good competition,” Jones said.
“It’s going to take a few games for us to learn each other. I’m now playing on a team where everyone can get their own points and can pretty much do what they want on the floor. I just have to remain aggressive and pick my spots on the floor.”
Several collegiate and National Basketball Association (NBA) representatives were present at the tip-off classic.
“I felt it was very important to include local teams and to bring in teams that feature Bahamian players to provide our players with opportunities,” said Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) Vice President Mario Bowleg.
“We want to bring in more events like this to help raise the profiles of our local players.”
Along with Jones and Hunter, several other Bahamians playing abroad will also be competing in the event. Deante Dean also competes for BC Christian, Romad Dean plays for Crestwood Prep out of Canada, and Deangelo Mackey and Makarious Russell play for Redemption Christian Academy out of New York.