By Elphina Jones (MYSCH)
West Bay Central won Saturday’s (7 January) Department of Sports’ (DoS) West Bay U16 Basketball Rally. The final against West Bay West was a hard-fought match in the opening leg of the District Basketball Tournament.
Aaron Johnson (West Bay West) won the MVP award for West Bay as a result of his superior game stats from the overall tournament, while teammate Seaford Russell Jr. earned the rally’s Coaches Award.
Kicking off the inaugural youth basketball district competition, West Bay Central, West Bay West and West Bay North each won a game on the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School outdoor court. The basketball rallies continue with the George Town Rally next Saturday, 14 January, 2 pm, Cox Court, Eastern Avenue.
The afternoon started with a welcome address by Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde, followed by remarks by Minister for Youth & Sports, Hon. Bernie Bush, and ended with a presentation of the Champions Cup.
After the event, Minister Bernie Bush shared: “The rally attracted a lot of positive feedback from players and spectators, which is encouraging. The event allows us to identify and develop talent and enhance and empower our youth, two of my three Ministerial Priorities. We want the District U16 Basketball Rally to evolve into an annual league. This rally provides a template that the Department can replicate to host other rallies in other focus sports.”
He also commended the tournament’s collaborative nature, which included scheduling, refereeing and coaching support by the Cayman Islands Basketball Association and other members of the local basketball community.
Mr. Hyde said: “We are delighted at the turnout and the overall interest that was received. Saturday’s event definitely demonstrated the void there is in our communities for platforms like this one, which are key in developing youth in sports and developing young coaches. It speaks to the ethos of DoS and motivates us to continue to roll out quality programmes such as the District Basketball Tournament.” Watched by a crowd of spectators, the afternoon’s matches produced some outstanding plays, with teams vying to claim the district champions’ cup to qualify for next month’s Tournament of Champions (Friday, 10; Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 February).
The fiercely contested games seen in the fixtures’ scores were as follows:
Game 1 - West Bay North (26 pts.) vs. West Bay Central (23 pts.)
Game 2 - West Bay West (33 pts.) vs. West Bay North (27 pts.)
Game 3 - West Bay Central (34 pts.) vs. West Bay West (31 pts), and Championship Game – West Bay Central (25 pts.) vs West Bay West (22 pts.).
For the full District Rally schedule and rally statistics, please visit the Cayman Islands Department of Sports’ Facebook and dept_of_sports or districtbasketball345 Instagram pages. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org