Bodden backs anti-bullying campaign for McGee Classic

Osbourne Bodden is the latest to feel sports can make an impact on bullying.

The sports minister says the Cayman Islands government is pleased to back the McGee Cayman Classic, a new sports spectacle created and organized by former European pro basketball player Cory McGee, who is based in London. The impetus for the event is to jump-start an anti-bullying campaign and honor Caymanian Ezra McLaughlin – a former youth basketball player who committed suicide last March. According to McGee, McLaughlin – who was 15 at the time of his death – was the victim of bullying. Bodden made his comments recently in the Legislative Assembly.

“Bullying … is a very, very serious scourge on our society,” Bodden said. “And, therefore, us in sports and my sports ministry side will be very happy to partner with tourism and education on this initiative.”

The extravaganza will encompass a celebrity golf event at North Sound Golf Club and a celebrity all-star basketball game, a youth basketball camp, and concerts featuring primarily country music stars, such as Ira Dean, at Camana Bay.

The list of stars scheduled to be in Cayman is impressive. From the sports world, there are basketball luminaries such as Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and Chris Mullin, world champion boxer Winky Wright, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and Manchester United icon Andy Cole.

Actors Dennis Quaid, Dennis “The Allstate Guy” Haysbert and Terry Quinn are expected to be the featured Hollywood actors. Other big names from Tinsel Town set to visit are Anthony Anderson (“All About the Andersons”), Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) and Christopher McDonald (“Happy Gilmore”).

McGee, 42, saw his basketball career last nine years from 1996 to 2005. He first came to Cayman in 2011 on a basketball trip to work with a variety of players, national teams and youth programs.