National Trust eager to assist hoops lovers rise up

Basketball has been on a downward spiral of late, but a local community organisation wants to turn the tide.

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is partnering with Star 92.7, Camana Bay and the Cayman Islands Basketball Association to stage the inaugural Shooting Stars 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre is expected to serve as host on Saturday, 27 July.

National Trust Development and Marketing Coordinator Danielle Vernon said young athletes need added public support.

“The focus on sports has decreased since Hurricane Ivan, especially within the basketball community,” Vernon said. “Star 92.7 and the Trust hope to bring the focus back with 3-on-3 competitions, which promote teamwork in a healthy, competitive way. Sports help to shape our culture by promoting excellence among our youth, who are the future of Cayman.

“The National Trust is proud to be a part of this tournament because of the unparalleled opportunities it provides for young athletes from all communities. The true joy in this tournament comes from celebrating the players’ hard work and their dedication to the sport.

“Players will be awarded with prizes from our sponsors and there will be lots of giveaways. The Trust and Star 92.7, along with Camana Bay, encourage all parents, players and fans to come out and cheer on their favourite teams.”

Saturday’s event is aimed at adults and youngsters. Kids in the 7-11, 12-15 and 16-19 age groups see free entry in the competition with adults age 20 and up paying $75 per team. T-shirts are included and the registration deadline is Friday, 26 July. Players have to check-in on Saturday at 8am (7-11), 9am (12-15) and 10am (20 and over). Early enrolment is encouraged as space is limited.

Vernon said proceeds from Saturday’s festivities will be split into specific areas.

“This is a Star 92.7 event and the Trust has been chosen as the charity to receive the majority of the proceeds. That will benefit the National Trust’s education programme, which seeks to educate students about the importance of protecting Cayman’s rich history and unique biodiversity. The basketball association will also be benefitting from the adult team entries.”

The competition should be a welcome shot in the arm for basketball, one of Cayman’s focus sports.

The discipline saw only four teams in division one of its national men’s and women’s league this year and failed to send a side to the 2013 Island Games. To this point, 3-on-3 tournaments have been held sparingly and with mixed results.

The steadiest competition has been the Rodney Bodden Memorial, which took place last August.