The Cayman Islands Hoopsters continue to showcase local talent overseas.
The basketball youth development group, overseen by national coach Daniel Augustine, recently sent two sets of teams to summer competitions in the United States. The first squad featured Under-12 boys and girls attending a one-week camp organized by Youth Basketball of America, based in Orlando, Florida. It is an organization that promotes youth basketball worldwide. Those attending were: Aliyah Christian, Halle Carter, Kimeria David, Ariyanna Ebanks, Caelyn Oliver, Kiandre Rankine (girls) along with Amar Christian, Jayden Gregory, Marcus Lawrence, Dandre Rankine and Andrew Watler.
Many of the participants came away with awards. In the 11-13 age group, Kimeria David was named the top participant, Caelyn Oliver was named “Queen of the court” for winning the one-on-one challenge, Kiandre Rankine was the dribbling champion and Jayden Gregory played on the winning five-on-five team. In the 8-10 age group, Dandre Rankine was the “hot shot champion” for being the top shooter and competed on the winning five-on-five side.
A second squad of Under-19 boys attended the annual Billy Mims and Five Star basketball camps in Melbourne, Florida. The team, which had additional instruction from coach James Collins, consisted of: Duncan Anderson, Reuben Barnes, Michael Brooks, Alexandre Brown, Gregory Cardenas, Justin Collins, Devante Dacres, Joshua Ebanks-Brown, Josh Fehr, Naithique Jackson, Arin Taylor and Jamel Winton.
Arin Taylor and Naithique Jackson were named All-Stars at both camps, with Reuben Barnes getting that accolade at the Billy Mims session. Michael Brooks played on a winning five-on-five team and Gregroy Cardenas was named a slam dunk champion.
The boys spent one week at the Billy Mims camp before attending the Five Star session. The developmental camps boast a number of National Basketball Association stars as alumni, including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving. Augustine said the group had help traveling to and from Florida.
“A number of sponsors made the trips possible and the Cayman Islands Hoopsters would like to thank: A.L.Thompson’s, Wendy’s (Seven Mile Beach), the Cayman Islands Government, Uncle Clem’s, the Lions Club, Fosters Food Fair, Paramount Carpets, Advantage, Peter Polack, Anthony Eden, Frank Hall, Caledonian, Cayman National Bank.”