Hoopsters score funds through marathon trot

The Cayman Islands Marathon saw funds collected for a number of worthy causes. One of the initiatives that fared well was Cayman’s mens national basketball team.

Some CI$1,200 was raised during the marathon for the side. Most of that money was donated online. The funds are going towards the team’s participation in next year’s Island Games in the Isle of Wight sometime in June. The Island Games are a warm-up event in preparation for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Senior Championship next year.

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association had a four-man relay team entered in the competition in Chad Leslie, Cary Hunte, Stephen Shaw and Rhomar Williams (who was a replacement for Jace Ebanks). Leslie starred in last year’s Island Games, Hunte came through the Appleby Under-19 Basketball League, Shaw finished his first campaign in the national men’s league this year and Williams is part of the Kings youth basketball program.

The team was number 809 in the race which saw close to 1000 people in attendance. All posted respectable times. Hunte ran the first leg, which was 6.4 miles, in a time of 51.37. Williams was the second runner and covered 6.7m in a time of 1:20.09. Leslie was up third and jogged 6.4m in 1:01.11 while Shaw was last up and tackled 6.7m in 1:01.05. In the end the side finished 37th out of the 67 relay teams with a total chip time of 4:15:33.2.

Leslie, 27, was congratulated after the race by a number of people including His Excellency Governor Duncan Taylor and states he felt proud after running the marathon.

“After I ran it I felt so much better about myself,” Leslie said. “I worked hard for it. I felt so proud that I could help raise funds for the national team.”

According to a link from the association’s website the proposed financial goal for the national team is CI$5,000. At this point it is not clear if the association will be entering teams in other running events this month such as the Jingle Bell run.

National mens coach Daniel Augustine assembled the side and states the marathon is the cusp of a long-term relationship between the sports of basketball and competitive running.

“For both males and females there is a link between basketball and running,” Augustine said. “We’re looking to improve on that to ensure their experience in basketball is as positive as possible. We have done walk-a-thons since 1996 but they were used for the basketball community. We never introduced them to the entire community and come next July we hope to do so and have it help with sponsorship efforts.

“As I told you before the race endurance is a big factor in the sport. Certainly you got to be able to sprint but you have to maintain that sprint. Doing something like a marathon can help with that and improve players’ stamina.”

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