These days, at the age of 73 and counting, Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee is still at it, taking rough talent and fine-tuning it for quality basketball performances, and, in particular, inspiring a unique understanding of the game.
For his dedication to nation-building through the many young boys and girls who have been molded in a positive manner by him, the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) has earmarked Friday, September 13, as the date for a testimonial black-tie event in honor of the distinguished gentleman.
The idea is to showcase him at an event that is fitting, and, justifies the brilliant work he has done for 50 years, most of that period right here in Grand Bahama. It was Coach McPhee who made Grand Bahama relevant in basketball. He was the catalyst behind a resurgence of the game here on island, and, has been a huge confidence builder for the players. He showed those in the basketball fraternity in Grand Bahama, just how to defeat the best New Providence had to offer.
Accordingly, over time, Grand Bahama became equal to New Providence in senior basketball and, ultimately rose to the point of being superior to the capital island in high school basketball. It is this same Coach McPhee who is the very foundation for the fantastic climb, basketball in Grand Bahama has made, through his exploits as the architect of those legendary Catholic High teams, and during his tenure as the Bahamas Amateur Basketball Association (now federation) President.
Coach McPhee is a mentor/motivator, producer of talent, marketable to the world. This fact is borne out in such as Jonquel Jones, Yolett McPhee-McCuin and Buddy Hield. Jones was so highly- desired, that Bosnia, courted her and arranged for citizenship status so that she could play for that country’s national team. Recently, Jones was selected as a second-time Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) starting All-Star.
McPhee-McCuin, the daughter of the venerable Coach Moon, is one of the strong coaching pillars in the United States. She is in charge of the women’s basketball program at the University of Mississippi.
Hield would be able to recall, the shooting sessions Coach Moon put him through. Last season, he evolved as one of the best three-point shooters in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He enjoyed a breakthrough season, indeed.
Coach Moon’s résumé includes also yearly tournaments staged, and the ongoing (for 35 years) HOYTES Basketball Foundation.
This is the man who will be honored by the GBSPA in September. The marketing for the event is to begin in earnest very soon, and those who Coach Moon greatly assisted, will be able to demonstrate appreciation for the little guy who casts such a large shadow.
The Freeport News salutes this very fine son of the Bahamian soil.
Here’s too Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee!