Nationals provides economic boost for Grand Bahama

Spectators look on as students participate in the Nationals High School Championships held in Freeport over the weekend. (Photo credit: 10th Year Seniors)

More than 20 teams from around The Bahamas competed in the third edition of the High School Basketball Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama, over the weekend.

The four-day event featured over 400 athletes and, because of its size, Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Evon Wisdom says, the annual event is becoming a staple in Grand Bahama’s economy.

According to Wisdom, the total cost of staging the nationals is over $100,000 – the majority of which is pumped straight into local businesses.

“This event is truly the shot in the arm that Grand Bahama needs,” Wisdom said.

“This tournament does more than just allow kids to play basketball, which is a still a great thing. But it also provides opportunity for the people on the island to make some money. Hotels, taxi drivers, bus drivers, food vendors, you name it.

“Everyone has been able to profit from this event being held in Grand Bahama, and because of the economic situation here, we see it fit to continue to bring this event to Grand Bahama. The final numbers will be released shortly on the impact the event had on the island.”

Two new national champions were crowned and one team retained its title at the 2018 event.

Tabernacle Baptist Academy knocked off Sir Jack Hayward to capture the Division I senior boys title. Gateway Christian Academy edged Agape Christian in senior boys Division II play to win its second consecutive national title and Doris Johnson beat out Prince William for the senior girls crown.