King’s hosts the princes

Local basketball is getting back in
gear these days.

The national women’s league is in
its opening stages and the national men’s league is slated to get going next
month.

In the midst of that was a one-day
rally at King’s Sports Centre targeting the U14 age group.

Held last Saturday the rally
attracted some 70 kids who played indoors on the WestTel arena floor from 9am
until 2:30pm.

The kids were organized into nine
teams. There were five boys teams: Cayman Prep, St.
Ignatius (Catholic), Pace high and Heritage high. The three girls teams represented
were from Prep, Catholic and Leading Edge.

Interestingly the two best teams
were Heritage and Prep, who went undefeated through six games on the day.

Some 50 spectators came out to
watch the action, most of whom were proud parents.

Organized by the Department of
Sports the event drew of a number of young sports prodigies. Among them were
St. Ignatius footballer Sean Murphy and basketball stars Rashaad Powery-Saunds
and Amber Watson.

A number of department staff are
notable figures in local basketball and were present for the rally. The most
prominent were basketball technical director Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro, national
women’s team coach Redver Ebanks and national men’s team coach Daniel
Augustine.

The trio shared referee duties on
the day and were assisted by score-keeper Eckerd McField (a local sports person
known for his flag football and basketball exploits).

Augustine talked about how the day’s
rally turned out.

“I’m really pleased with the
turnout and how the kids treated the rally. On such short notice we saw kids
who wanted to play and respected the sport.

“The thing with this rally is it’s
an introduction to the kids. We in local basketball simply hope we can grab
some of those youngsters and get them onto the right ropes so that they can
climb into the men’s and women’s national teams.

“It’s all about not losing the kids
between the primary and secondary (middle and high school) level. It was a long
but successful day, the kids enjoyed it and we’re looking forward to an
upcoming U14 league later on this year, around September or so.”

Augustine had plenty of assistance
from young people like Tikko Moore. The East End
native was one of the volunteers helping out on the day with officiating and
umpiring.

Moore, 17, said he
felt the rally was a worthwhile endeavour.

“I was there for a couple of hours
and helped with the shot clock, game clock and I coached kids where I could.
Basically I just tried to encourage them to keep trying in the sport.

“I felt good that I was able to
pass on what I learnt and I helped the kids with their games.”

The young man is more than just
another prodigy. He gave back by helping Wolves basketball club donate turkeys
to the Windsor Park area for Christmas. Before that he
worked alongside Augustine in setting up a Bodden Town
hoops camp. Moore
says he’s all about giving back.

“Whenever the league starts I’ll
definitely be involved. I just love basketball and I’ll be part of anything to
do with it on the island.”

SPORTSboysSTORY

The kids did well on the Kings indoor court.
Matthew Yates