John Gray High School had the best youth basketball teams last year.
The school hopes to boast that honour again in 2013 with the start of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 14 and Under Inter-school League. Matches are slated to start on Monday, 14 January.
Last year, John Gray produced the boys and girls winners in Tarpon Academy and Wahoo Academy, respectively. Youth basketball stalwart Arin Taylor was the Most Valuable Player with help from schoolmates Cameron Hydes and Akeem Burton.
For the girls, Guiesha Smith was the MVP. Amanda Stone was the other main contributor.
In all, some 12 squads participated. The competition featured local secondary schools like Triple C. Most teams were coached by notable youth basketball figures like Ben Stoner, Phillip Webb and Reuben Barnes. The competition allowed unheralded talent, like Wahoo’s Christopher Lopez and Yolanni Manzanares of the Clifton Hunter High School Diamonds, to excel.
The 14U league is in its second year, as 2012 matches took place at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre and at the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
Next up is the national women’s league on 24 January. All eyes will be on reigning champions the Home Gas Flames, who have won two consecutive championships. La-Torae Nixon guided the title charge in 2012, with Sade Wood being her chief sidekick. Last year, the Flames swept aside the Dominos Lady Heels in the finals even though Dominos had stellar efforts from Dionne Anglin and Sarah Kidd.