Three-on-three basketball has a viable future in the Cayman Islands.
That point became clear with the turnout for the inaugural Shooting Stars 3-on-3 basketball tournament last Saturday at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. Some 100 local players showed up for the competition.
For Christina Pineda (nee McTaggart), the executive director at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, it was all about promoting Cayman’s youth.
“This event is an ideal way to highlight our commitment to the youth of the Cayman Islands, whom we aim to educate about the importance of protecting our unique environment and history,” Pineda said. “Given Star 92.7’s strong local presence among the younger demographic and the ideal location of the ARC, this event is positioned to promote excellence among the youth of Cayman in a family-friendly atmosphere and allow participants an opportunity to enjoy sport, which was rewarded with great prizes from our sponsors.”
The National Trust partnered with Star 92.7, Camana Bay, Scotiabank, Rubis Cayman Islands Limited and the Cayman Islands Basketball Association to stage the competition. Most of the event proceeds benefitted the National Trust, specifically its student education programme, with funds also assisting the basketball association.
Squads were broken down into age groups with kids competing in the 7-11, 12-15 and 16-19 categories with adults playing in a 20-and-older segment. The majority of sides featured established names in the sport, such as Juawon Ebanks, Chloe Powery and Lloyd Samuels. A lot of relatively fresh faces also came to the forefront, such as Joseph Chollette and Michael Whittaker Jr.
The winning teams earned gift bags with goodies from the likes of Digicel, Winners Circle and Conyers, Dill and Pearman. Most of the participants were youngsters as the tournament was partially billed as an extension of last week’s fifth annual Orlando Magic Basketball Camp, which also took place at Camana Bay.