U19s focus beyond all-star game

Though all-star night is approaching, many youth basketball playmakers have their focus on the postseason.

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association will stage an all-star night this Saturday, 3 December. The Sir Vassell Johnson Hall at the University College of the Cayman Islands is expected to serve as venue.

Oscar Rivers, 16, is suiting up for the West team in the boys all-star game for the Appleby Under-19 Basketball League. The George Town native, who plays for the Esso Blazers, admits it’s a big honour but he’s focused on his abilities.

“I gained more experience to better my game and be a better team player (this season),” Rivers said. “It’s an accomplishment for me as a player. I hope it turns out well.”

Saturday’s event features the current crop of talent in the Appleby league. The competition’s top 40 boys and girls from all 10 teams will take part in a three-point shoot-out and all-star game (which consists of two 20-minute halves). The girls are up first at 4pm with their shoot-out and all-star game (which starts at 4.45pm). The boys take the court at 6.15pm for their shoot-out before their contest (starting at 7pm) finishes off the night.

One of the star lady players taking part is Shana Linwood-McLaughlin, 18. The George Town resident, who plays for the Comets, states heading into this weekend her focus was on making a good impression.

“Coming into the season, I knew this would be my last year,” Linwood-McLaughlin said. “I don’t think I made a good impression yet but I’d like to make one before it’s over.”

For the girls, the All-Star West team will consist of Imani Abdul Jabbar (Sparks), Renita Barnes (Lynx), Melissa Bridgemohan (Lynx), Felecia Connor (Comets), Ashley Ebanks (Comets), Rochel Gardener (Monarchs), Khadijah Lewin (Monarchs), Linwood-McLaughlin, La-Torae Nixon (Sparks) and Guiesha Smith (Monarchs).

The All-Star East side features April Ebanks (Monarchs), Annique Holness (Comets), Yolanni Manzanares (Sparks), Sashaneil McField (Lynx), Christina McLean (Monarchs), Hannah Parchment (Lynx), Chloe Powery (Comets), Ashleigh Reid (Sparks), Taylor Reid (Sparks) and Jade Wheeler (Lynx).

The girls game should centre on the battle between Most Valuable Player candidates Nixon and Powery. Both are at the top of charts in every statistical category.

On the boys side, the All-Star West team sees Reuben Barnes (Wolves), Tim Corbett (Wesleyan), Peter Grant (Wolves), Shaquille Heath (Bodden Town), Kaseem Penn (John Gray High School), Rashaad Powery-Saunds (Grand Pavilion Shockwaves), Daniel Quinland (Blazers), Rivers, Ben Stoner (Wolves) and Travis Stroup (Wesleyan Christian Academy).

All-Star East has Travis Barnes (BT), Maynor Brooks (BT), Christopher Collins (BT), Brad Galbraith (Blazers), Dominic Martucci (Shockwaves), Justin Nalty (Blazers), Sonny Powell (BT), David Powery (Wolves), Brandon Thompson (Wolves) and Philip Webb (Shockwaves).

The girls played their last regular season contests last Saturday at the association court off Eastern Avenue. Their playoffs are expected to start next Saturday, 10 December from 5pm. The boys wrapped up their campaigns on Tuesday night and their postseason gets going next Tuesday, 6 December, from 6pm.

Saturday’s all-star game will also see giveaways, music and fan competitions. For more information e-mail [email protected]