The 2019 Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Bunny Levarity Round Robin National Basketball Tournament is fast approaching and two local teams out of Grand Bahama are ready for action.
The tournament is scheduled to take place, April 11-13 down in New Providence with teams out of Grand Bahama, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, South Andros and Bimini vying for Division One and Two titles.
The champions of the Grand Bahama Basketball Association, the Fast Track Gym Rats and Reach Out Saints, will be heading down to the nation’s capital seeking to bring respective national titles back home.
The Gym Rats reign as the local Division One champions. They swept the GB Power Chargers, 2-0, in the local championships held last week.
The Saints on the other hand were the sole B-team in the local league and by default will represent Grand Bahama competing for the Division Two title.
Most recently, head coach of the Saints, Dudley Seide, met with members of the media to disclose that he and his team are in urgent need of assistance in getting to this year’s tournament.
While the Gym Rats’ trip is expected to be taken care of, the Saints would need around $3,700.00 for their flight and hotel accommodations. With this being Seide’s last year coaching the Saints, he is hopeful that he will receive some assistance in time to represent Grand Bahama once again.
“I’m excited, again, to be representing Grand Bahama. This will be the fifth national tournament that we will be playing in. We’ve won four of them. We look forward to bringing the national trophy back to Grand Bahama in the B-Division.
“This year I did not have a sponsor for my team. Normally, Coca-Cola would sponsor us but this year that was not so. So I’m making an appeal to the wider community of Grand Bahama to please assist us.
“Most of the players on my team are either present high school players or they left high school about a year ago. The league is trying its best but we need some help getting these young men into Nassau. It was difficult this year and with the economy being down, it’s difficult to take two teams into Nassau.
“We have to make this appeal to Corporate Grand Bahama or anyone who would like to assist us to please help as best as they can.”
While Seide would like to end his coaching career on a high note with one more national title, he said he very much plans to continue being an influence within the B-Division, locally and nationally.
“I’ve been at this for about 33 years now. I’m a former president of the league. I played in Divisions One and Two and I’ve coached in the league for 20 years.
“Hopefully I can sit down with the president of the GBBA and BBF in Nassau and try to assist the B-Division. I think moving forward I want to give back to the GBBA in more of an administrative aspect and try to bring the B-Division back to life.”
Seide said that the B-Division is very important to the core of basketball as it typically served as a feeder system for the A-Division locally.
“If the B-Division dies that means basketball would be dead. I think even throughout The Bahamas, we should give more of a focus on the B-Division. I’ve been praying on it and it’s a difficult decision. But, I just think it’s time to step down and try to help the league and move it forward and bring fans back into the league.
“There are a lot of businessmen who made it through basketball and are not coming back to give back. So hopefully we can get that to happen in the future,” he concluded.
While the Round Robin Tournament is taking place, the BBF Annual General Meeting and BBF elections are scheduled April 12 at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, New Providence.