The day for basketball fans on the island has finally arrived.
The Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association’s 24th Tip-Off Basketball Classic, sponsored by Aliv, is on tap for the St. George’s Gymnasium, beginning today and continuing until October 31. Organizers expect non-stop action among the high schools that are entered.
For years the tournament has been one of the highly-anticipated events on the GBSSAA calendar, as it gives student bodies, parents and general fans a peek at what is to come during the season. While the normal competitive play is expected with the senior boys teams, this is the second consecutive year, the senior girls will see action also.
With new title sponsor, Aliv, represented, the GBSSAA met with members of the media this past Thursday and GBSSAA Treasurer, Wayne Smith, announced the schools that will compete in this year’s tournament.
“The tournament will feature the defending champions, Tabernacle Falcons, Jack Hayward Wildcats, the Sunland Stingers, St. George’s Jaguars, Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays, Pine Forest Academy, Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors, and Mary, Star of the Sea Crusaders.
“In the girls’ division there will be four teams participating this year. They are the BMES Warriors, Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays, St. George’s Jaguars and the defending champions, the Falcons of Tabernacle Baptist Academy.”
As usual, the champions of this year’s tournament will receive the highly coveted Tip-Off Basketball Classic championship rings in the senior boys division. Smith added that the association will now focus on the senior girls being treated the same way, if not this year, in the future years to come.
Aliv Media and Community Champion Talia Wildgoose, spoke to the interest of the telecommunications provider.
“Sports, by extension basketball, is extremely popular amongst demographics in this country. As a result supporting the GBSSAA underscores our commitment to encourage growth and development throughout The Bahamas. So, we are delighted to be a part of this Basketball Classic this year for both girls and boys.
“When the youth are invested in, it impacts the entire community and produces a better society.
“For this reason, we are honored to take part in such an event. This is a great opportunity for us to invest in our young men and women once again. They represent the future and need as much help as is possible,” said Wildgoose.
Domino’s Pizza is continuing the food sponsorship. Gary Diem, Store Manager for Domino’s in the RND Plaza, confirmed that the brand is excited to once again be a part of the historic event.
“We like to show our support and we encourage the public from all walks of life; from East End to West End to come on over, show their support for the youngsters. The youth are our future and every chance we get, we want to invest in our youths. This is where our stars are born and at the end of the day, we just want everyone to show their support. Domino’s is proud once again to be a part of this major event.”
The opening ceremony is to begin at 4:00 p.m. with the possible appearance of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Member of Parliament for Marco City, the honorable Michael Pintard.