I recall the days of sharpshooters Gino Nairn and Paul “Pablo” Darville; and the enforcement style of Martin Lundy. Those were the peak years of high school basketball during an earlier era.
Nairn had the quick release like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. Darville was more like Camelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. Then, there was Lundy, the epitome of an enforcer, much, like Rick Mahorn of the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons and Charles Oakley, who, down in the paint and otherwise was the court bodyguard for Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and others for the Chicago Bulls; and later Patrick Ewing, Greg Anthony and Derek Harper and other New York Knicks.
Those were the days, the 1960s, when high school basketball first gained national popularity.
Peaks and valleys followed through the years with the high school basketball program in the nation. Now though, under Ministry of Education, Science and Technology after school sports czar Evan Wisdom, there has been a revolution. The High School Basketball Nationals, although in need of tweaking as expressed in this space previously, is huge.
Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald is quick to dive into national issues outside of his direct portfolio. Hopefully he recognizes the phenomenal sports undertaking in his very own ministry.
The National High School Basketball Championships is a product that needs to be enhanced. The event must, going forward, cover a wider area and truly justify its “national” status. Often in politics, administrations seem unwilling to carry on or pay full attention to certain projects put in place by a predecessor government group.
I hope that is not the case with Wisdom and his after school sports jurisdiction.
The after school sports program is the idea of former Education Minister Desmond Bannister. I make that point in this column, because it is important for the general public to understand that governance is supposed to be a continuing process. The after school sports program has indeed lived on after Bannister, but the time has come for it to take on greater significance in the Education, Science and Technology picture.
The national high school basketball product is certainly evolving under Wisdom, but there is much work to be done in properly crafting the product. The view here is that the time has come to set up an official After School Sports Board that Wisdom can work with to better flesh out the nationals.
The high school basketball ‘nationals’ product is here!
It is fine, indeed!
The challenge is however, for it to be embellished, to be made much more attractive and with more details to encompass a greater Family Islands flavor.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Monday, March, 13, 2017