Ritchie Adderley (with ball)

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Adderley significant to HOYTES program

WORKING – Ritchie Adderley (with ball) working with HOYTES players at the Gladstone “Moon” McPhee Park.  (PHOTO: TFN FILES)Sports  June 18, 2020  FN Sports Reporter Shayne Stubbs

Legendary point guard Richie Adderley is now a coaching fixture in the HOYTES program.

The Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports (HOYTES) program, founded by the great Gladstone “Moon” McPhee, is documented as one of the island’s fundamental pillars in developing young men and women through basketball, also with a strong focus on education. 

Many renowned figures, like Sacramento Kings’ guard Chavano “Buddy” Hield, Connecticut Sun center Jonquel Jones, and Stephen F. Austin University’s Nathan Bain, have spent weekends developing their basketball skills during the adolescent years, in the HOYTES program.

Quite a number of current local executives have also spent weekends training under Moon McPhee and in the HOYTES program. McPhee’s coaching resume is a lengthy one, earning him the recognition as a pioneer of Bahamian basketball. The HOYTES Founder spent years as the head coach of the Grand Bahama Catholic Academy (GBCA) Crusaders, and played a role in the creation of the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament, founded the Crusaders’ Christmas Basketball Invitational, and the Geneva Rutherford Girls’ Basketball Tournament.  

Now, McPhee has begun the phase of handing over the HOYTES program to a trusted source. That source is one of the many players McPhee coached over the years. He’s none other than Adderley. Locally, Adderley is revered as a “living legend” among basketball enthusiasts.

Arguably the country’s best point guard during his playing years, Adderley has been described by many of his peers as one who easily could have made it to the National Basketball Association. 

Adderley made it as far as the collegiate ranks playing Division-I Basketball at Indiana State University. Later, he transitioned to coaching girls high school basketball at Terre Haute South in Indiana. He was the school’s first black coach.

After spending years coaching high school basketball in Indiana, Adderley returned home last year and began assisting with HOYTES. He shared with The Freeport News that teaching is something he loves and finds great joy in helping young people progress. 

“This is a blessing. This is what keeps me going. I love teaching and I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. Just to see the improvement in the kids from when you first start working with them- not that I want credit – you just want to make sure when you work with a kid that he/she gets better. “

Adderley returned to The Bahamas back in April, 2019. Since that time he admitted that it has been difficult landing a job but working with the young talent here on the island has helped to keep his mind at ease.

Chief among the knowledge Adderley wants to share is the dedication to hard work, and he pointed out that work ethic will be what separates some players from others around them. 

“Nonetheless, this is home. There is nothing like it. I’ve been away for 33 years and a lot has changed since I came back. I have skills I know that could be an asset to somebody. Any opportunity I can get, they (prospective employers) would not be disappointed.

“I want these kids to understand work ethic. I know what it takes to get to that next level and it’s the fundamentals. We try to gloss over the small things and I always tell players the small things will show you whether they’ll make it or not.

“They may think they have it down pat, but just keep repeating to the point where you react naturally, opposed to a coach always having to say when to do it.”

Growing up playing basketball in his era, Adderley credited a number of players for making him elevate his skills. He admitted he always had talent but it was not until he began playing for McPhee, that he started to see his truest potential. 

“Playing against guys like Basil “The Kid” Sands, Derek “Bookie” Nesbitt, Denzil “Inch” McGuire, those are some of the players that made me a better player. I knew if I wanted to take my talents to another level I had to do it against those guys,” he said.

He then shared that the experiences he had playing Division-I basketball and coaching in America made him an even better person.

“Those guys pushed me to where I had to get. Even in high school against Milo Greene, Duncan Hines, “Cheese” Pinder, those individuals pushed me to a point where I had to compete hard. I’m a competitor. I’m not the type to get embarrassed so I always stepped my game up.

“Playing under coach McPhee was a blessing. I had talent when I went to Catholic High, but he helped me to take my talent to another level. A lot of people don’t understand that. He’s an excellent coach and he didn’t take it easy on me because he knew if I wanted to get to the next level I would have to be tough.

“That helped with college, playing at Indiana State University, which was where the great Larry Bird played college ball. I got to play with this brother, Eddie, but getting the exposure at the Division-I level was a blessing.

“My experiences from all those different programs not only helped me to be a better coach, but a better person,” Adderley concluded. 

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