Testimonial banquet being organized to honor iconic Coach Moon McPhee

COACH GLADSTONE “MOON” MCPHEE

Over 50 years of mentoring, nurturing and being the catalyst for the development of some of the nation’s finest basketball players, will officially be recognized in September of 2019 with a grand testimonial banquet for the phenomenal Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

The Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) is heading the initiative to pay tribute to one of the great sons of the Bahamian soil. McPhee, within the national basketball family, is on par with legends such as the late Leviticus “Uncle Lou” Adderley and Vincent “Geech” Ferguson, in having run the board in contributing to basketball advancement in the country.

Actually, one could make the argument that in career enhancement of basketball, McPhee has edged ahead of the men who paved the way for him and assisted in his personal development in the sport.

Where the separation comes is the fact that presently, McPhee can take ownership of having been responsible for the early development of National Basketball Association (NBA) third-year player Buddy Hield; All-World female player Jonquel Jones; as well as his daughter Yolett McPhee-McCuin, the Head Coach of the Women’s Basketball Program at the University of Mississippi.

On top of having those aforementioned stalwarts on his résumés, McPhee has been a legendary recruiter, thus providing scholarships for scores of Bahamians; he was a national coach with success regionally and internationally; his service to basketball extended to being president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation; he is a strong advocate of equality for females in basketball; McPhee founded the HOYTES (Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports) Program that is ongoing after 35 years; and he stages two tournaments each year.

Steeped in basketball acumen and international contacts, McPhee was often, during the early years, offered opportunities to assist with programs in the United States. He declined in each case, because of an immense love for his country and the “delightful feeling” he said he always got when a young Bahamian advanced from under his wings to loftier heights in the game.

McPhee’s very own sports development came about in the capital island of New Providence before he moved to Grand Bahama almost 50 years ago.

It was Coach McPhee who inspired others in basketball in Grand Bahama, to new levels of accomplishments. He turned Catholic High into a pacesetter for Grand Bahama in success against the best teams in the country, in particular New Providence. His first of three Hugh Campbell Championships set the stage for Grand Bahama’s climb to the top of national high school basketball.

Indeed, he was the prime catalyst for the basketball resurgence in Grand Bahama.

McPhee these days, in his early 70s, still is very active and as such, continues to be a major player in national basketball development.

I am honored to have been closely associated with Coach Moon McPhee for more than five decades and to be involved with the organization, the GBSPA, that will be saluting him next year.

Continued best wishes Moon!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at
727-6363.

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