Star duo leap to Cali courts

California is a huge departure from
Cayman both in distance and culture. Sports, including basketball, are part of
the Golden State lifestyle and two young Caymanians are finding that out
first-hand.

Tikko Moore and Brandon Glasgow are
currently enrolled at Santa Clarita Christian High School in Santa Clarita,
California. Both are there on basketball scholarships for the next two years.
The scholarships are set to cover the roughly US$6,500 yearly tuition fee.

Moore, 17, has been a steady figure
in local basketball the last five years having competed in the various youth
leagues on island. Glasgow, also 17, similarly has extensive history in the
sport and recently reached new heights as part of the Wolves men’s team that
won their second straight national title in August.

Both youngsters are transferring
from John Gray High School, where they were in their final years (grade 12).
They left Cayman on Friday and see their first day on Monday 27 September.
Before leaving Moore, who is a native of East End, stated he was excited to be
attending school in California.

“I feel very excited to be going
away to play basketball,” Moore said. “Brandon and I can open doors to
youngsters in Cayman who want to play basketball. I feel privileged that they
chose me to go there.

“Classes are already in progress
and when we get there the work will be waiting for us. When we get there we
will hit the books and the court. My first classes are bright and early Monday
morning, the first practice is on Monday and Monday is actually my birthday.
Being in California will be an awesome 18th birthday present for me.”

Moore and Glasgow had help making
the school’s basketball team from technical director for Cayman basketball
Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro. In fact the duo are the third Caymanian youngsters in
the last two years to attend the school after Davi Cotterell, 18, got accepted.
The Bodden Town resident quickly excelled on the court as he averaged nearly 23
points, nine rebounds and six steals last season. Cotterell’s performance, as
Moore states, was a big reason why the young men were readily accepted.

“We got accepted through coach Voot
who helped us tremendously as our main source of reference. With Davi there
they wanted more players like him. I’ve been in constant contact with the coach
up there and I’m hoping Brandon and I are a big part of the team going forward.”

O’Garro, who has two children of
his own away at university in the States, states having three Caymanians at
school in California are some of the positives currently seen in local
basketball.

“I’m excited with the level of
basketball in Cayman,” O’Garro said. “Since playing indoors the game has grown
by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow on the finishing of the new
facilities that are set to come on stream. We in the Cayman Islands Basketball
Association thank the Dart Group, First Baptist Church, the University College
of the Cayman Islands and Kings Sports Centre for allowing us to use their
indoor facilities. Without them basketball would have plateaued. We saw a
rejuvenated growth on and off the court in terms of player and spectator
participation.

“A lot of young players in school
abroad or leaving for school came from the programs that are played at those
facilities. For example Tikko and Brandon came through the Kings programme,
which is our beginner’s course. Every Thursday 3.30-5pm and Friday 3.30-5.30pm
they were among the dozens of kids that took part. The programme started after
Hurricane Ivan and has been going on continuously since. In fact I’d say it has
become the core of our youth program as it grooms the players, especially those
in the Under-14 and Under-16 age groups.”

News of the young men heading to
California quickly spread throughout the Cayman basketball community. Many like
youth coach Jonathan Powery, who saw Glasgow take his Shockwaves to the
Under-19 youth league title last year, are enthused.

“I think it’s big news that they’re
going away,” Powery said. “I played against them and with them. It’s exciting
for me to see young players like them that can go abroad and represent Cayman.
I’m behind them 100 per cent. I hope they do well in basketball and further
their education. I’m very happy for them and I wish them all the best.”

Ultimately Moore, who is the son of
James and Primrose Moore, states he knows there are high expectations and his
focus is on progressing to his dream.

“I have two years to finish my
junior and senior years and I’m still young. I’ll graduate at 19, the proper
age for my classes and I’ll be the same age as my classmates. I know I have to
keep my grades up and I hope I get to certain skill level so that I can move up
to a division one college. My favourite player is Evan Turner and I want to go
to Ohio State just like he did. From there, well, I’d love to go pro.”

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