Bahamas Shines During Nike All-Stars Game
The Bahamas continues to be a major destination for American basketball games in the region.
The second annual Nike EYBL All-Stars game took place on August 20th and was a big hit among locals and visitors.
The exhibition game took place between the top high school and junior senior players from the United States and The Bahamas at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
Former NBA legends Brian Shaw and Rasheed Wallace coached the U.S. team and Quintin Hall, along with help from Chavano “Buddy” Hield, coached the Bahamian team.
Shaw said after attending the first match last year he made it a point to return to The Bahamas.
“This year the Bahamian team was much improved,” Shaw said.
“The team had a lot better shooters, more athleticism and they always play hard.
“It’s fun. It’s the last thing the kids have before they start high school. Most of these guys have school on Monday. This is the last leg of it all.”
Asked about his time in The Bahamas, Shaw said, “It’s been good.
“I’ve been sipping on some nice drinks around the pool. I was able to bring my family so I got to spend a lot of family time out here soaking up the sun.”
Hield said he was having fun coaching young up and coming Bahamian basketball players.
He said competition between The Bahamas and the U.S. was fierce this year.
“Coaching those guys, I let them know that I started just like them,” he said.
“You can be the next one here coaching. It’s a learning curve for these guys. Last year they got beat by 60 this year they got beat by 27-25. So it’s progress.”
Hield had a spectacular collegiate season with the Oklahoma Sooners. He was drafter sixth by the New Orleans Pelicans during the NBA draft this year.
American high school players Mendel Carter, 17, and Tre Young, 17, said they had a great time in The Bahamas.
“This is my second time here,” said Carter, who is from Atlanta, Georgia.
“We’re staying at Atlantis and there are lots of things to do over there.”
Young who is from Norman, Oklahoma said he was impressed by the Bahamian fans.
“Nike did a great job of giving us the opportunity to come out here,” he said.
“The fans out here are so loyal. It was fun for Buddy to come out here and I feel that we gave the fans a show.”
The game took place during the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Summer of Thunder.
The Ministry of Tourism is a major sponsor of the Summer of Thunder.
Nineteen NCAA basketball teams were in The Bahamas to take part in a series of exhibition matches meant to improve team synergy before the seasons starts.
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