Previously, in another column in The Freeport News, the excellent work being done by Head Coach Kevin Clarke and his staff with the extraordinary Tabernacle Baptist Academy male basketball team was complimented. At the time, they had won two of the tournaments entered in 2016 and were showing signs of dominance.
As it is turning out, the laudatory expressions in the column were indeed justified.
This past Monday, in the capital island of New Providence, the 35th Annual Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic came to a conclusion and for the seventh time, Tabernacle Baptist Academy emerged the victor. The school became a traditional basketball power force in Grand Bahama with retired Coach Norris Bain at the helm.
Under Bain, Tabernacle best carried on the pioneer, revolutionary, high school basketball trend of excellence in Grand Bahama, began by the indomitable Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee at Catholic High. Coach McPhee won the first three Hugh Campbell titles for Grand Bahama.
The efforts of Coach McPhee and his respective teams established Grand Bahama as a high school basketball island of note in the country, a deserving rival of New Providence. Now, it is arguable that Grand Bahama has the best high school teams and players in the country.
The resilience, determination, and extra ingredient of supreme conviction, made the difference on Monday as Clarke guided the Falcons past the reputable coach (Kevin Johnson) and his high school basketball team, the C. I. Gibson Rattlers, 58-52. It was a team effort, led by the amazing Franco Miller, whose offensive onslaught resulted in 27 points directly, more than half of C.I. Gibson’s total.
Coaches Clarke, Quincy Gray and R. J. Woodside have been doing a phenomenal job, collectively, with the Falcons. The Freeport News deems it important to single out circumstances that contribute mightily to the advancement of the island and its people, particularly the young.
Coach Clarke speaks fondly of the double focus of his players, for the most part. He spoke of his star player, Miller, being a standout in the classroom as well, with high scores in his subjects. We salute this approach and challenge other coaches to emulate Clarke in fostering total success of students in their charge.
Once ago, it was fashionable for head coaches to bring players into their program, knowing of their academic deficiencies. With Clarke, quality work in the classroom is a priority, equal to play on the court.
We thus extend congratulations to Coach Clarke, his assistants, the players, supporters and the entire Tabernacle Baptist Academy family.
Hail to the Falcons!
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017