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Caribbean HoopsFest tourney off with a bang

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Sunday, August 20, 2017

MONTEGO BAY, St James — The champions of the third staging of the Caribbean HoopsFest basketball tournament will be decided today at the Montego Bay Community College auditorium after two days of intense action which started on Friday afternoon.

Six teams — three from overseas, including two from New York and on from Canada, two from Montego Bay and the other from Kingston, made up of mostly high school players — are taking part in the event that has grown from its small start at Cornwall College two years ago.

Stephanie Halstead, one of the directors of the event, pointed out on Friday's opening day how the event has grown since its inception.

“We had three overseas players in the first year and last year we were up to six. Now we have three full teams from overseas countries,” she said.

The initial event was held over two days at the outdoor courts at Cornwall College in 2015, but moved to the Montego Bay Convention Centre last year before moving to the Montego Bay Community Centre.

On Friday Team Beetz from New York defeated Montego Bay White 51-41 in the opening game; Team Kingston then beat Team NYC 59-56; while Canada got the better of MoBay Black 46-42 in the late game.

Each team was scheduled to play two more games in yesterday's programme and, based on points, would play off today for the top spots, with the final set to get underway at 4:00 pm.

Sporting giants adidas is the main sponsor of the event.

“Adidas believed in our vision... and they bought into what we are trying to do here and came on board immediately,” said Halstead.

Adidas, she noted, provided uniforms, bags, socks and game balls for all players, coaches and officials.

The winning team will get medals, while there will be specialty awards for the top players.