The Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association (GBSSAA) recently continued the process of rewarding their 2019/2020 sporting champions.
The association hosted the awards ceremony which celebrated the senior boys and girls, and Under-17 boys’ champions of the Obie Wilchcombe/Derrick Nesbitt High School Basketball League. One half of the league’s patrons, Wilchcombe, was on hand to present the champions with their awards.
The Tabernacle Falcons took both the Under-17 boys and senior boys titles for that athletic year, while the St. George’s Jaguars claimed the senior girls title. The awards ceremony was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wilchombe, who was lauded by current Deputy Administrator Norris Bain for his philanthropic efforts in supporting the Falcons’ program in the past, offered his congratulations to the trio of teams. He also spoke highly of legendary Coach Gladstone "Moon" McPhee and former electrifying and outstanding point guard Richie Adderley, in whose honor, the GBSSAA Coach of the Year Award and the GBSSAA Player of the Year Award, respectively, were named.
“I want to honor him (McPhee), because many don’t know who he is and what he did for basketball. When he came to Grand Bahama in the 70s he said he was going to bring the top championship of the country to Grand Bahama. And, he began to work, organizing basketball from East End to West End, and getting some of the best basketball players to engage in the game.
“He wanted to ensure that we were teaching and not misleading.
“I see where we have Richie Adderley on the program. The truth is, that what he was doing back then, is what Allen Iverson did in the NBA (National Basketball Association).
“You (athletes) just play basketball now because it is that avenue, that path and that is to build and mold you to be great. And, if you want to do what you do and be successful, don’t get caught up in the stuff we see going on right now.
“If you want to be a contributor to society, then take the lessons you’re learning. These coaches are teaching you and passing on the knowledge they have. Although they want to win, they know at the end of the day, the real win is the fact that you’re a participant. Because, the victory is not always a championship, but having given your best.”
District Superintendent for the Ministry of Education Ivan Butler also rendered remarks and reminded the players that not every player would make it to the pros like ‘Buddy’ Hield and Jonquel Jones and others. He reassured the players, though, specifically the males, that there are other areas in life where they can make a lasting impact.
“We need young men like you in education. We need you all to look at education. Look at the job coach (Kevin) Clarke is doing. Look at the job (Norris) Bain is doing.
“There is a place for you in the development of our country in education. We need more males in education. I appeal to you today. You can look at engineering and other fields, but don’t sell the education system short.
“We need our males in education because Mr. Bain is slowly moving off stage. I’m moving off stage, along with everybody else. So, we need you all to rightfully take your place in this developing society.”
Following the remarks, the teams took group photos with the honored guests, as they received their respective trophies.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the senior girl champion Jaguars was Kenya Forbes, while her head coach, Shandria Brown received Coach of the Year honors.
Darius Cooper was named the MVP for the Under 17 boys’ champions, and Corderro Capron was awarded the MVP trophy for the Senior Boys. Kevin Clarke received Coach of the Year recognition as head coach for both male teams.