While senior boys’ basketball teams from throughout the country clash during the Hugh Campbell Tournament, the Geneva Rutherford Basketball Tournament has been highlighting girls’ basketball over the years.
Now, for 17 years, the longstanding tournament will do just that once again on February 23-26 at the St. Georges Gymnasium.
The tournament will also pay tribute to Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson, who has been a true supporter of the tournament during his tenure.
Organizers and sponsors met this past Wednesday to put some buzz behind the upcoming girls’ tournament. FOCOL representative, Peter Adderley, noted that the tournament has been a stage for young girls throughout the country to “show off” their talents.
Over the years some “tremendous” play had been seen, according to Adderley, which is something he expects to continue this time around.
“We want fans in particular to know a Jonquel Jones did not automatically make it to the WNBA. She came through these types of events and these types of programs. And so, HOYTES, we invite the entire Grand Bahama to come out and support these young people.
“They’re coming from throughout the country, we’ll see some of the best and brightest and we look forward to an exciting tournament,” said Adderley.
He lauded HOYTES founder, Gladstone ‘Moon’ McPhee and Technical Advisor, Sharon Storr for the job they’ve done to see the advancement of the young ladies on and off the court.
McPhee noted, however, that the success of the past 17 years would not be possible without the help of some faithful sponsors.
“For 17 years FOCOL was with HOYTES from the inception. I also want to say to the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture – thank you. Without their help we could not have had and continue to have transportation and accommodations for the young ladies.
“And for all the rest of the sponsors, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, PharmaChem and the rest of the sponsors, I want to say to them thank you. The girls need it and I can see the improvement of girls’ basketball, since we have started this tournament 17 years ago.”
Speaking to this year’s event, Storr added that the tournament will not be double-elimination format.
Instead, each team is guaranteed “at least” three games and to still be in contention. The schedule will be based on seeding, which is to be determined by coaches, sports writers and McPhee. From there the teams will be bracketed.
“In the senior girls (division) we will have eight teams – three out of Nassau and five here out of Grand Bahama. Coming out of Nassau will be Prince William, C.R. Walker and R.M. Bailey.
“In the juniors, out of Nassau will be Prince William. We’re looking forward to C.R. Walker, but they haven’t confirmed.
“Here again, we’re looking forward to a great tournament and like coach said, girls just want to have fun.”
The Ministry of Tourism Grand Bahama’s Sports Tourism Manager, Nuvolari Chotoosingh encouraged all of the parents to support the young ladies as they continue to improve in the game of basketball.
“Come out and watch these young ladies perform. You can see the development as coach McPhee mentioned earlier, over the course of the years they would have partaken in this particular tournament. And we just want them to come out and have a great time and be competitive.”
Published Tuesday, February 7, 2017