Ultimate Frisbee being taken seriously as a sport is a hard sell for many locals. However one resident has taken throwing a plastic disc into hoisting a gold trophy.
Scott Murray is an avid frisbee player in Cayman and a champion in basketball. Murray, 27, was a big part of team Charterland’s drive to the national men’s basketball league division two championship.
The Ontario native grew up liking basketball but credits an active role in frisbee for his success.
“This is my first year with Charterland and my first year in the league,” Murray said. “I’ve played basketball since I was very young. It was always one of my favourite sports to play. Now that I’m a bit older I use it as a way to keep in shape and to meet new people. A lot of the skills used in basketball come in handy on the frisbee field.
“The ability to jump while keeping balance, finding open room to manoeuvre and hand-eye co-ordination all come into play with both sports. Although, basketball tends to be a bit more physical and there’s no girls on the court.”
Murray, who has been in Cayman two and a half years, was a major contributor for Charterland. He led the team in assists and helped the side to an unbeaten campaign. He would get help from a number of unsung role players in Rainsford Scott, ageless basketball star Ovaine Monteith and flag football player Chris LeBeau. Murray states his team-mates deserve credit for the side’s success.
“It’s a great feeling being champion. I haven’t won anything like this in a long time, especially on a national level. We weren’t the youngest team out there or the most athletic. I think it was a combination of our many years of experience and passion for the game that drove Charterland to a championship. Everyone out there contributed. We had our bigs down low bringing in offensive and defensive boards, great defenders that created turnovers that lead into fast breaks and of course our outside shooters raining down threes.
“Our Finals Most Valuable Player Jonathan Rosa is a big boy and knows how to use his size in the paint. Not only is he a great rebounder but an excellent touch around the basket. A well deserved MVP.”
Sponsoring the efforts of Murray and the others was Charterland partner Stewart Connelly. A former top player in his native Australia, Connelly saw limited minutes on the team due to injury but was pleased with the 2011 season.
“I’m extremely happy as we were very confident of going all the way this year,” Connelly said. “It was a tough league to go undefeated in, however I think we had a great mix of talent to secure Charterland’s first league title.
“We recruited some new players who slotted into the team very smoothly. We had some bigs again this year to help with our interior play. Guys like Scott and Ovaine provided us with real leadership while Nathan Smith and Conrad Duncan helped on the boards.
“Without a doubt the two standout players were Scott and Ovaine. Scott helped us at the point spot, essentially being a one man press-breaker and Ovaine has provided us with some scoring pinch (despite being over 43).”
For Murray, whose day job is Mega Systems’ Electrical Sales Manager, Frisbee will continue to be a big part of his life. He is one of the organizers for ultimate frisbee here in Cayman, which takes place on Friday evenings at the Camana Bay field. Interestingly the sport attracts a regular crowd of around 20 people and draws an increasing amount of sporting personalities such as Murray’s Charterland team-mate Nathan Smith and flag football players Walker Romanica, Chip Whitney and Kevin Zimmer.
Ultimately Murray states he intends to develop his other sports interests.
“I got to relax and nurse a bad wrist and ankle. I hope to get drafted back into the Filipino basketball league (now called the Cayman Islands Basketball Association division three basketball league) which is coming up shortly. I will continue to play Ultimate Frisbee every Friday out at Camana Bay and patiently wait for the softball and volleyball leagues to start back up.”