Goombay Summer Festival had some very special guests last weekend as the 18-member Bethune Cookman Men’s Basketball team got a chance to share in the authentic cultural experience.
The team was here recently to do a pre-season practice tour along with several other universities who played two games in the BTC Summer of Thunder 2015.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation hosted the game.
Other universities that participated included the University of North Carolina Willington, Ball State, Bethune-Cookman, University of Central Florida, Dayton, Eastern Illinois, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State, North Florida, North Dakota State, Southern Utah, St. Louis, Texas-Arlington, Youngstown State and West Virginia.
But before the group shot some hoops, it participated in Bahamian cultural events at Goombay Summer Festival at Arawak Cay.
Goombay Summer Festival features games, food, crafts, a Kiddie Cultural Village, Goombay dancers and Junkanoo.
Ricky Johnson Jr., who is a Bethune Cookman player, visited The Bahamas for the first time.
“It’s a great experience. It’s way different from the United States. It’s my first time eating Bahamian food and catching crabs and so it was a great experience,” he said.
Mario Moody, another basketball player, is from New Jersey. He said he visited The Bahamas as a child.
“Now that I am older I get a better experience for everything,” he said.
“I have a lot of Caribbean friends so I have seen it before but what I am seeing right now… I think this is very intriguing.”
Gravelle Craig, head Coach of Bethune Cookman Basketball Team, said the trip was about business and a team-bonding experience.
“ For a lot of they guys it’s their first time out of the United States and so they have gotten that cultural experience,” he said.
“I’ve been here before but this is the first time I went on a tour and this is my first time to Goombay so I will definitely have to come back and expand on what I learned from this trip.”