Shooting Stars will keep rising up

A 3-on-3 basketball tournament will become a fixture in the Cayman Islands.

The inaugural Shooting Stars 3-on-3 basketball competition took place last Saturday at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre, drawing more than 20 teams and 100 local players. For Star 92.7 CEO John Watler, the impetus is there to make the tournament an annual showcase.

“Star 92.7 decided to host this tournament for love of the game and to engage the community in a healthy, active way with the added benefit of raising funds for charity,” Watler said. “You can anticipate that Shooting Stars will be one of our annual events.”

Star 92.7 partnered with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Camana Bay, Scotiabank, Rubis Cayman Islands Limited and the Cayman Islands Basketball Association to stage the competition. Most of the proceeds from the event benefitted the National Trust, specifically its student education programme, with funds also assisting the basketball association.

Youth and adult players took part and many established names in the sport excelled, such as Juawon Ebanks, Chloe Powery and Chris Lucas. A lot of relatively fresh faces also came to the forefront, such as Joseph Chollette and Michael Whittaker Jr.

For Christina McTaggart Pineda, the executive director at the National Trust, the corporate support will allow another steady outlet for local athletes.

“We are grateful to Star 92.7 for choosing the National Trust to be the beneficiary charity of this great event,” Pineda said. “It is with the support of generous sponsors like Scotiabank that we were able to host an event which provided a wholesome outlet for athletes of all abilities.

“Proceeds from this mutually beneficial partnership will go a long way toward assisting our ongoing efforts to protect Cayman’s unique heritage through education and conservation.”

The winning teams earned gift bags with goodies from Digicel, Winners Circle and Conyers, Dill and Pearman. The tournament was positioned as the official closing tournament for Camana Bay’s fifth annual Orlando Magic Basketball Camp, which drew some 150 youngsters.

Scotiabank has been supporting youth sporting activities across Cayman for years and the bank’s marketing manager Simone Hull-Lloyd said those endeavours are paramount.

“Our sponsorship of football, baseball and basketball programmes is an opportunity to promote the development of well-rounded youngsters and athletes as they express themselves, hone team-building skills and participate in sports in a fun and positive environment,” Hull-Lloyd said. “We are confident that this competition will bring good sportsmanship skills forward and will create an exciting courtside atmosphere with clean fun and great camaraderie.”

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