Fine tribute for Rodney

The basketball 3 on 3 tournament memorial weekend starts today to commemorate the life of former player, Rodney Bodden.

Tournament organiser Cory Thompson said: ‘The response has been very good since the first article came out in the Caymanian Compass last week. It has helped me confirm some major sponsors and I would like to thank all of them for their support.

‘It’s not fully confirmed yet how many teams are in but I know it will be a lot better than the 12 we had last year.’

Bodden was a 6ft 6in giant and only 16 when he died of heart failure on 25 September 1996 whilst playing in a basketball competition in the Bahamas.

Thompson said: ‘Rodney was a recipient of a basketball scholarship to attend a high school in the Bahamas. He was a positive icon and role model in his community and impacted the lives of many, including his family, friends and fellow teammates alike.’

Thompson grew up and played basketball with Bodden and came up with the 3 on 3 idea in honour of his friend. They both played together locally and represented Cayman in international competitions.

Thompson currently plays for the Southampton Trailblazers in the south of England and has put a lot of effort into organising the 3 on 3 tournament.

The annual fundraising event which started last year was a huge success.

Thompson added: ‘I am also receiving very good feedback from Rodney’s family and friends by phone, text and Facebook about this tournament.

‘The best times I had with Rodney were just being around him on and off the court. There was never one dull moment when and those who knew him would say the same.

‘He always knew how to make people laugh and smile at the same time. No matter if it was in the gym lifting weights or just hanging out with other friends at his or my house.

‘He will never be forgotten and I promised his family that. I would also like to thank Venga and Tortuga for their attempts to help me bring down former NBA star from the San Antonio Spurs Bruce Bowen. He had to cancel at the last minute because something came up.

‘Because he couldn’t make it he agreed to send some signed jerseys and basketballs to give away.’

This year’s All Star Games are at the new indoor facility at the Arts and Recreation Centre at the Cayman International School grounds in Camana Bay.

Part proceeds will be donated to the formation of Rodney Bodden’s Foundation, which will require a fee of $1,000. Along with proceeds to Bodden’s family, funds will also go to the Cayman AIDS Foundation and the Cayman Islands Basketball Association.

The All Stars game tomorrow will be between current national players and former national players. The former players will include Maxwell Linwood, Greg Miller, Joel Jefferson, Collin Anglin (who is still in the national team), Bruce Reynold, Gary McLaughlin, Shomari Scott, Thompson himself, Luigi Moxam, Daniel Augustine, Erdmon McCoy, John Ebanks, Shawn Silman and Eric Rankin.

Tonight is the White Top Ball at the Marriott Ballroom, admission $5 and on Sunday it’s the 3 on 3 tournament at the Cox’s Court on Eastern Avenue.

Each team of four has to pay $30 to enter and the cash prizes are $800 for first place, $600 for second and $400 for third. The DHL Wolves are the defending champions.