Bahamian and Harlem Superstars member Christopher “Chicken” Turnquest has set a new goal for himself.
The Grand Bahama Basketball Association, in partnership with the 6’10” showman are set to introduce something different to young Grand Bahamian hoopers starting this coming Monday, June 18-29.
The Harlem Superstars “Super Chicken” Basketball Skills Camp is expected to give young basketball players a unique look at the sport while enhancing their skill sets. The camp takes place at the St. George’s Gymnasium. The camp caters to children ages 6-16. The camp’s motto is “Uplifting Your Teammate.”
The camp will run from 9:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m daily.
GBBA President Quinton “3oz” Hall noted that having “Chicken” join the fold in being the camp’s instructor would give the players a different scope of not only basketball, but also life in general.
“It was just an idea to bring something a little bit different, Someone who has been traveling, has the exposure in what he’s done in numerous countries and let people here at home see it,” said Hall.
“I welcome anyone who wants to see a different part of basketball. Yes, you have the skill developments but what Chicken does is something pretty unique. It’s also pretty difficult and it takes practice but it’s something where it’s more fun,” he added.
The Harlem Super Stars, not affiliated with the Harlem Globetrotters, follow in the same lines of providing fun, show time basketball with a wide array of flash and tricks. The organization also does its part to provide motivational speeches to young persons.
Since Turnquest returned to the island he has continued in that light with random school visits and motivational conversations with young boys and girls. While the game of basketball has provided countless opportunities, the 205-pound forward/center “Chicken” stated that his focus is solely on using the game as a means to reach the youth.
“My main goal is to actually give them (young people) a little bit more hope that no matter who you are or where you’re from (rich, poor or famous), you still have a chance once you put your heart into what you really want,” Turnquest expressed. “It’s a passion for me. So, my goal now is to actually get these kids focused and believing in themselves.”
Turnquest pointed out that one of his goals is to get young men to realize that they can be themselves and not feel pressured into believing they have to be thugs to survive on the island. Given his upbringing in a two-bedroom household with seven brothers, where he had to sleep in the bath tub for years, Turnquest knows there are other young men who may being going through the same or worst situations.
“This is my goal - to come in and really put some more hope and more life and bring back the love and happiness into the children and into the families. This camp is the first thing. My second goal is to start a team. I want to start my own Bahamian Globetrotter team.
“The camp is the first step into getting it out there and letting the parents see the power of actually being involved in a positive environment.”
For Turnquest, the camp means more to him than just “having the children out of the house.” Instead, he’s focused on bringing out the talents and passions of the young persons and he said it’s all about keeping hope alive.
“Basketball skills aren’t the only thing to move a child forward. That comes along with passion. If the children have the passion they’re going to find the skills. But at the end of the day the personality that is within that child, you have to touch. If you have a child who’s bad but good in basketball and your only focus is him being involved with basketball, it’s a waste of time because at the same time he or she may not work well with the kids.
“For me, I have a connection with kids. I may be the 34-year old but at the end of the day I can still put myself in their shoes.”
At the end of the day Turnquest is adamant that all hope is not lost.
“There’s still hope but we just have to nurture the hope and keep it in a positive environment. All won’t go, but we’ll have a majority that make it abroad and can come back and do the same thing that I’m doing.”