The Bequia Basketball Eleventh Annual Tournament opened in fine style at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia on last Saturday July 11th.
Eleven teams, representing 132 players, ages 6 to 28, in 3 divisions marched in the Opening Ceremony, with team Duke winning the cake prize for the best dressed.
To start the programme, youngsters Christian Friday, Ondine and Ella Mitchell Sutton played the national anthem on steel pan.
Dr. Loraine Friday, Parliamentary Representative for the Northern Grenadines addressed the gathering of players, officials, and patrons congratulating the Bequia Association on their stellar achievement of being in the 11th season.
He advised the players to play to the best of their ability, with good sportsmanship by focusing on the games, and not on their teammates errors or perceived errors by referees. He spoke of his confidence in the continued growth of basketball in Bequia, with its dedicated Executive committee, who create a wonderful event for the Bequia community every year. He urged the players to take care of the very expensive equipment and new basketball hoops.
President of the BBA, Ms Sabrina Mitchell officially opened the tournament. She expressed her great pleasure for the Association to be celebrating 11 years of basketball. She spoke of two important developments in Bequia Basketball this tournament. Firstly with a brand new pair of FIBA approved profesionally designed backstops, imported from GARED sports in Indiana, USA.
At a cost of $27,000. the hoops were donated by Sabrina Mitchell and Adonal Foyle’s Kerosene Lamp Foundation.
The President, who also serves on the Caribbean Basketball Executive and the FIBA Americas Central Board member spoke of her commitment to raising the bar and standard of basketball in SVG by ensuring that the Association in Bequia, which she represents, has the best quality equipment available. She thanked Adonal Foyle for his generosity and commitment to the young people of SVG! Additionally, the Bequia Association is the first to play on the new international FIBA-designated 2010 markings, which change the previous trapezoid shaped offensive “paint” area to the NBA-style rectangle. Mitchell concluded by thanking the business community, the fans, and Dr. Friday for their continued financial support.
The Opening night continued with two fixtured matchesL: defending champions in the 2nd Division Young Blazers defeating Rising Stars II 61 to 55,-Mark Hutchins of Blazers leading the scoring with 21 points. In the First Division, defending champions BequiaTech Rising Stars defeated East Blazers 71 to 47,with Craiglee Sam netting 34 points.
The tournament runs until Sunday August 30th, with games every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Under 16: Hornets, Young Wizards, Admiralty Transport Eagles
2nd Division: Young Blazers, Young Duke, Rising Stars II, Warriaz
1st Division: BequiaTech Rising Stars, East Blazers, Duke and Gladiatorz