Cory revitalises hoop dreams

Cayman Islands basketball is getting a financial boost from Cory Thompson.

Thompson donated proceeds from this month’s Rodney Bodden Memorial three-on-three tournament to the Cayman Islands Basketball Association. He states the goal is to assist national team efforts.

“Helping out the basketball association is great because there is not much funds being offered to them by the government or even private sectors,” Thompson said. “One good example was last year’s Island Games. After training for months, two weeks before the Games we were told we could not go again because the funding was not made available.

“We were then left to pay for our own trip, which a few players did, though coach Daniel Augustine and Victor O’Garro ended up getting a few last minute sponsors.”

The Rodney Bodden competition saw action at the basketball association court and at Kings Sports Centre. The Expendables team of Kevin Maxwell, Jerome Narcisse (who recently returned home from school at Southwestern Oklahoma State University), Shaad O’Garro and Deandre Simpson were the overall winners, earning $800.

Shaad earned an extra $100 as the dunk contest winner and Davion Cotterell took home $100 for winning the three-point contest. Both young men, along with Maxwell and Simpson, are fresh off their first national men’s title this year with the Esso Blazers. On the whole, the Memorial was well supported with a number of squads and local talents, like Daniel Quinland, taking part.

Thompson’s donation comes after Cayman sent its Under-15 national teams to the CentroBasket Championships this month. The girls competed in Mexico City, Mexico with the likes of Chloe Powery and La-Torae Nixon propelling Cayman to a fifth place finish, a 2-2 record and props as the top youth side in the Caribbean.

The boys, behind stars Arin Taylor and Juawon Ebanks, are playing in San Salvador, El Salvador until Friday, 31 August, before returning home on 3 September.

Based in Portsmouth in the UK, Thompson is a stalwart of local hoops and competed for years with the Wolves basketball club. He put on this month’s competition to honour childhood friend Rodney Bodden, who died of heart failure at age 16 in 1996 while participating in a basketball competition in the Bahamas.

Bodden had a basketball scholarship to attend a Bahamian high school and was slated to attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He and Thompson grew up playing hoops together and represented Cayman in international competitions.

Thompson, 33, also allocated proceeds from the Memorial to the Rodney Bodden Foundation, Rodney’s family and the Cayman Heart Foundation. He states all are worthy recipients of his support.

“Giving money to the heart foundation will help out with testing and make sure things like what happened to Rodney can be prevented in the future.

“I think its important to start the foundation because it will make sure he will never be forgotten. It will also help out the students that are away at school, playing basketball, in whatever way it can. It can be expensive being an athlete, with strict dieting and constant gym work.”

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