Month: September 2023

Dragon Boat Festival set for this weekend

 Home|Sports|Dragon Boat Festival set for this weekendSports

Simba FrenchSend an emailSeptember 29, 2023 75 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 The 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival gets underway tomorrow and wraps up on Sunday at Goodman’s Bay.

The 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival gets underway tomorrow and wraps up on Sunday at Goodman’s Bay. Organizers made the announcement yesterday at a press conference held at the Breezes Bahamas resort.

Dragon Boat racing has seen an uptick in interest since its inaugural festival. It has grown from 21 teams in 2021 boats to 34. The event will feature the Dragon Concherers defending their title and will have four teams from the United States competing.

President of the Bahamas Chinese Dragon Boat Association Dr. Christine Chin said that she and her team are looking forward to seeing some strong competition this weekend.

“The growth in participation is evidence of the competitive spirit of the local community. It also shows the excitement around dragon boat racing. We eagerly look forward to the showdown between the armed forces, hotels, medical and corporate teams. We also want to see the breast cancer survivors with the junior and senior teams battling it out,” Chea said.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg is looking forward to the competition this weekend.

“It is amazing to see the growth and progress the association has made in one year,” Bowleg said. “This is more than a competition, it is a celebration of unity, teamwork, and true testimony. It is the government’s commitment to the world of sports. We at the ministry remain hopeful that the dragon boat sport will be a great addition to our sports tourism brand. These kind of sporting events help to boost the economy and have great cultural and social benefits. We are excited for the many opportunities to come for The Bahamas with the partnership with the association.”

The Bahamas became the eighth member of the Pan American Dragon Boat Federation last year. The president of that federation, Franco Siu Chong, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, congratulated the local association for the growth of the sport.

“I hope that the Bahamians would get involved in the sport so they can be competitive and enter on to the international scene. We are working to make it an Olympic sport and we hope to see a national team in that Olympics,” Chong said.

He is hoping to see the youth become more involved in the sport and he hopes to see more Caribbean countries adopt the sport.

President of the International Breast Cancer Paddles Commission Meri Gibson who hails from New Zealand, alluded to the benefits of the sport and loved that the sport is growing in The Bahamas.

“It is an incredible sport for survivors and incredible camaraderie that comes with it. We have friends all around the world and you can hop on to a boat somewhere and be more than welcomed to join in. I am astounded at the work the association has done over the year,” Gibson said.

Sales Manager at Breezes Bahamas Heather Smith said they will have a boat in the festival this year and they will look to dethrone the defending champions.

Apart from the racing, the festival will also feature food on sale, cultural performances and a Junkanoo rush-out. They will host a breast cancer survivors flower ceremony on Sunday.

Ayton traded to the Blazers

 Home|Sports|Ayton traded to the BlazersSports

He is a part of the three-team deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Bucks

Simba FrenchSend an emailSeptember 28, 2023 102 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Bahamian professional basketball player DeAndre Ayton shoots over Lauri Markkanen in this file photo. Ayton was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Portland Trailblazers in a three-team deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.

What started off as a quiet Wednesday afternoon in the National Basketball Association (NBA) turned out to a busy one as news broke that the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers and the Milwaukee Bucks finalized a three-team trade that included moving Bahamian DeAndre Ayton, the starting big man of the Suns, to the Blazers.

The details of the deal have the Blazers acquiring Ayton, Jrue Holiday, Tounamani Camara, a 2029 unprotected first round pick from the Bucks, and unprotected swap rights in 2028 and 2030 with the Bucks. The Blazers are looking to move Holiday as they rebuild. The Suns received Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson. The Bucks will get disgruntled Blazers’ guard Damian Lillard who originally had the Miami Heat as a preferred landing spot.

The Ayton era in Phoenix is over after five years. The big man was the Suns’ number one overall draft pick in 2018. Ayton did not get to truly live up to that number one pick status after having to play third and fourth fiddle behind Devin Booker, Chris Paul and eventually Kevin Durant.

Suns’ fans were hoping to see how Ayton was going to be used under new Head Coach Frank Vogel after many believe he was under-utilized under former Head Coach Monty Williams. It is no secret that 

Ayton and the latter clashed at times, especially during their 2021-2022 playoff run that ended with the center being benched in the second half of Game Seven of their playoff battle against the Dallas Mavericks, which they eventually lost.

Before being traded, Ayton and Booker were the only remaining members of the Suns team that went to the NBA Finals in 2021 and lost 4-2 to the Bucks. He made the NBA’s All-Rookie Team in the 2018-2019 season and was the NBA Player of the Week once.

The five-year player now joins a team that is in rebuilding mode and he can see an uptick in his statistics as he can be the focal point of Head Coach Chauncey Billups. There is little doubt that he will be the starting center on a team of younger players.

Last season, Ayton finished averaging a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game in 30.4 minutes per game. He was featured in 67 games last season and shot 58.9 percent from the field.

In total, Ayton appeared in 303 regular season games for the Sun and averaged 16.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his five-year career. He has shot a regular season career clip of 59.7 percent from the field. Ayton was featured in 45 playoff games and started in all of those games. He averaged 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game in the playoffs. He shot the ball at a 62.9 percent clip in his playoff career.

Ayton attained a career-high of 35 points twice while posting a career-high in rebounds to the volume of 22 once.

The Bahamian had a good summer, representing The Bahamas in the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. He was instrumental in helping The Bahamas qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer. Ayton and The Bahamas took down Argentina twice to win the pre-qualifying tournament. He averaged 15.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks in 29.9 minutes per contest in thee pre-qualifiers.

Jones’ double-double helps Liberty tie series

 Home|Sports|Jones’ double-double helps Liberty tie seriesSports

Simba FrenchSend an emailSeptember 28, 2023 40 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Connecticut Sun forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa, right, guards New York Liberty forward Jonquel Jones during the second half of Game 2 of a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal, Tuesday. AP

After being caught by surprise by the Connecticut Sun in Game One on Sunday, Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones and the New York Liberty bounced back to tie the best-of-five semifinal series at 1-1 with an 84-77 victory at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday night.

Playing against her former team, Jones came away with 11 points and 13 rebounds to help her team get the victory. She went 5-for-12 from the field, shooting 41.7 percent in 37 minutes on the floor. She also came away with two assists and one blocked shot.

The Liberty was led by shooting guard Sabrina Ionescu who had 21 points. All five starters scored in double digits. The Sun’s Tiffany Hayes led all scorers with 30 points as the Liberty held Alyssa Thomas at bay with just 10 points.

It was a close game heading into the fourth quarter with the Liberty holding a slim 59-57 advantage. The Liberty’s Courtney Vandersloot and Hayes traded long bombs to put the score at 62-60 in favor of Liberty with 9:27 left in the quarter.

After that point, the game swung in the Liberty’s favor as they went on a 5-0 scoring run to go up 67-60 with 8:21 left in the fourth period. That lead turned to 10 points at the 7:07 mark on a Breanna Stewart three point shot as they led 72-62. It was the Liberty’s largest lead of the game and the Sun called a timeout.

The Sun came within five points at the 3:50 mark with the Liberty leading 75-70. That quickly went back up to 10 points at the 2:55 mark. The Sun got the lead back down to five points, but the Liberty kept finding ways to score points to keep the game out of reach. They avoided going into a 0-2 hole with the series heading to Uncasville, Connecticut.

Jones was most effective in scoring in the first quarter where she scored nine of the Liberty’s 16 points. She shot 4-for-5 in that period. It was a hot start for the Sun in the second quarter as they stretched a 22-16 lead after one to 30-18 with 7:10 left in that quarter. The first half ended with the Sun up 42-38.

The Liberty picked up the slack in the second half. They out-rebounded the Sun 37-31 and shot the ball better from the field 44.6 percent to 39.7 percent.

Jones is having a strong postseason, having put up a double-double in all four of her games. She has 10 offensive boards at an average of 3.5 offensive boards, which have been key for her team. She is shooting 56.1 percent from the field and averaging 16 points, 12.5 rebounds and 35.5 minutes per game. She is also averaging two blocks and two assists per game.

Before the game, Stewart lifted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy for her performance throughout the season. She beat out Thomas and the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson.

The pivotal third game of the series is set for the tomorrow night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. That game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

BPGT classic set for Saturday

 Home|Sports|BPGT classic set for SaturdaySports

The Nassau GuardianSend an emailSeptember 28, 2023 71 1 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 David Harris, center, holds his winning trophy from the Hillshire Farms Classic in October 2022. The Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT) will host a golf classic this Saturday at Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar.

The Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT) will host a golf classic this Saturday at the Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar. Golfers will swing into action at 2 p.m.

The one round of golf is not just open to professionals but there will also be amateur and junior divisions. The classic is another avenue to provide local golfers with an opportunity to showcase their skills in a competitive environment as they look to stay sharp.

Director of the Junior Division of the Bahamas Golf Federation (BGF) Gina Gonzalez-Rolle said she is excited.

“We are honored that the BPGT has given the junior players an opportunity to play in this tournament and future tournaments. I think it opens the doors for our juniors to be recognized and for people to see how good they can play,” Gonzalez-Rolle said.

The BPGT last hosted a tournament in October 2022 – the Hillshire Farms Open at the Royal Blue Golf Course. Winning the open division was David Harris who shot a three-under par 69. Keno Turnquest was second while the tour founder and director Riccardo Davis was third.

Part proceeds from the classic this weekend will go toward junior golf in the country and to autism awareness through REACH (Resources and Education for Autism and related 

Challenges) – a non-profit organization that provides parents with comprehensive knowledge and tools in all areas of autism.

For more information, interested persons can contact tour officials at the email address or at the telephone number (242) 433-6303.

The following classic will be the Hillshire Farms Classic set for October 2023. The Bahamas Waste Open will follow that in November with the season ending tournament, the Tour Championship, being held in December.

The tour sponsors are Suntee, Bahamas Waste, Breezes Resorts, Hillshire Farms, Royal Blue Golf Course, Motor Vehicle Training School (MVTS) and R&E Imports & Sales.

The BPGT was first founded in 2018 and has given local and international golfers an opportunity to sharpen their skills while competing. The BPGT will be hosting additional professional tour events from tours in the United States of America, making for a more competitive field for the local professional golfers.

Ayton traded to the Trail Blazers

DEANDRE Ayton in action.

DEANDRE Ayton in action.

As of Thursday, September 28, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Centre Deandre Ayton, who was embroiled in contract talks with the Phoenix Suns and a heated clash with former head coach Monty Williams, has been traded to Portland, becoming the second Bahamian to play for the Trail Blazers.

#The move came yesterday in a blockbuster three-team deal in the National Basketball Association that was centred around the Milwaukee Bucks acquiring guard Damian Lillard from the Trail Blazers.

#The deal also sent Jrue Holiday from the Bucks to Portland, Jusuf Nurkic from the Blazers to the Suns and Toumani Camara from the Suns to the Trail Blazers. However, all three cannot be finalised until NBA attorneys review the terms and approve the deal.

#The 25-year-old Ayton was hoping to team up with Eric Gordon, whom he played with for the Bahamas men’s national basketball team in the Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in August where they advanced to the Qualifying Tournament next year heading into the Olympics in Paris, France.

#But, according to reports, the Trail Blazers always had interest in the former No. 1 overall pick in the past and were linked to him again within the last week until the deal came through yesterday. Efforts to contact Ayton for comments were unsuccessful.

#Ayton, the number one pick in the NBA draft in 2018, had an up-and-down five-year stint in Phoenix that included some tension with coach Williams, but he still managed to average a double-double for five straight seasons, including 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game across 67 contests last season.

#But with the acquisition of Bradley Beal to join the duo of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, there were some concerns as to how the Suns would have utilised Ayton, who is more of a traditional centre who plays on the inside.

#After the departure of coach Williams, Ayton signed a four-year/ $132,929,128 contract with Phoenix, including $132,929,128 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $33,232,282.

#This season, he’s set to earn a base salary of $32,459,438, while carrying a cap hit of $32,459,438 and a dead cap value of $32,459,438.

#While attending the Jeff Rodgers Summer Basketball Camp in Nassau, Ayton was spotted by an NBA scout who took him to the United States where he played for Balboa School In California.

#He transferred to Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix where he played out his final two years of high school. He then went on to play his freshman year for the Arizona Wildcats before he entered the NBA draft.

#After spending the past seasons in Pheonix, Ayton now follows retired centre Mychal ‘Sweet Bells’ Thompson at Portland.

#Thompson, the first Bahamian born player to play in the NBA, was selected as the first overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft as the first foreign-born player to be selected first.

#During his eight years where he started at both power forward and centre positions with the Trail Blazers, Thompson was named to the 1978 All-Rookie team, and had arguably his statistically best season in 1981-82 where he averaged 20.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.

#In the 1987 off-season, Thompson was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for centre/forward Steve Johnson.

#But after he only played half a season with the Spurs, Thompson was traded again on February 1987 to the Los Angeles Lakers for centre/forward Frank Brickowski and centre Petur Guomundsson plus a 1987 first-round draft pick and their 1990 second-round draft choice, along with an undisclosed amount of cash. Thompson was acquired as a back-up centre and power forward for coach Pat Riley’s Lakers team that had four players who were overall #1 selections in the NBA draft, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969), Magic Johnson (1979), and James Worthy (1982).

#The trade proved valuable to the 1986-87 Lakers, who went on to defeat Boston for the 1987 NBA title.

#Thompson thrived as Abdul-Jabbar’s backup. In game six of the 1987 NBA Finals, he had 15 points and nine rebounds and played 37 minutes as the Lakers won the series.

#The Lakers won another title in 1988, beating the Detroit Pistons, and reached the Finals in 1989, falling to Detroit, and again, in 1991.

#He retired later that year.

#Thompson, 68, is now a commentator for the Lakers and one of his sons, Klay Thompson, is a superstar for the Golden State Warriors, who won four NBA titles in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

‘Golden Girl’ Pauline presents book to Dame Marguerite Pindling

Pauline Davis, left, presents her book and a bouquet of flowers to Dame Marguerite Pindling.

Pauline Davis, left, presents her book and a bouquet of flowers to Dame Marguerite Pindling.

As of Thursday, September 28, 2023


SHOWN, from left to right, are Pauline Davis, Dame Marguerite Pindling and Suzanne Mann.


#Senior Sports Reporter

#AS they reflect on their humble beginnings as one “barefoot girl” to another, Golden Girl Pauline Davis presented her award winning book “Running Sideways” to former Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling. Davis, 57, presented the book to Pindling, 91, during a courtesy call at the wife of the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Sir Lynden Pindling, at her home on Skyline Drive on Tuesday.

#Accompanied by her publicist Suzanne Mann, Davis said she was humbled to be able to present the book to Pindling. It was the first copy of the book stamped with the international stamp on it. Track and Field Writers of America selected the book as the best Memoir/Autobiography of 2023.

#Davis said she’s presenting the book to Dame Marguerite for the role her husband played as her “guiding angel.”

#She said she just wanted to come in person to say “thank you” to Dame Marguerite for the support she gave her husband.

#In accepting the book, Dame Marguerite said she was so “touched” and “honoured” to have been selected as the first recipient of the book, similar to Sir Lynden presenting Davis with her first running shoes.

#Pointing out how it all got started, Davis said she was training with members of the Bain Town Flyers Track Club, headed by coach Neville Wisdom, at Goodman’s Bay early one morning when Sir Lynden approached the group and singled her out.

#At the time, Davis said she was a teenager attending the Government High School. She went on to become the Austin Sealy award winner as the most outstanding athlete at the CARIFTA Games hosted at the original Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium in 1984.

#She went on to compete for the University of Alabama and was successful in earning medals in both the 100 and 200 metres at every major international meet from the Central American and Caribbean Games to the Olympic Games, the latter in which she was the first from the Caribbean to secure a gold medal.

#Davis also teamed up with Eldece Clarke, Chandra Sturrup, Sevatheda Fynes and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie to capture the Olympic silver and gold medals as well as the World Championship gold medal in the 4 x 100m relays, thus earning the nicknames, the “Golden Girls.”

#Dame Marguerite inquired about Davis’ team-mates as she had not heard much about them in recent times. Davis provided an update and noted they played just as much of a significant role in her life as did Sir Lynden.

#“Her husband has been so instrumental in helping me to become who I am today,” said Davis, who also served as a council member of World Athletics, the world governing body for the sport, and is now a lifetime member. “She’s our Bahamian queen. She’s so beautiful woman and very elegant and she was Sir Lynden Pindling’s wife. “She had to be a part of his life and what he was doing and so when she asked me if I remember when I got the shoes from him, she knew that he had brought me these running spikes and so the fact that she was able to ask me that, pointed to the fact that she had to be intimately involved in this whole journey.”

#Davis pointed out the fact that Sir Lynden did not only buy her first pair of running shoes, but he inquired just about every time she was competing, how she was doing and what could he do to help her.

#“What was so amazing was the fact that Sir Lynden got involved in me before I really did anything,” Davis said. “He picked me out of the pack and told me that I was going to be something special. He watched me grow up and he supported me very quietly in his own personal way.

#“He didn’t want a lot of people to know. But in listening to Lady Pindling, I realised that she knew exactly what he did for me. So I am very delighted to present her with this book for believing in this little barefoot girl from Bain Town. She told me she was a barefoot girl from Andros.”

#Clinging to the notion that “it takes a village to raise a child,” Davis said she was elated to know that she had someone as important as the PM looking out for her well being. So she was excited to be able to say “thank you” to Lady Pindling in her husband’s absence.

#Mann, a native of Australia currently residing in the Bahamas, said it was so important and an honour for her to give the first copy of the book with the certificate to Dame Marguerite.

#“She wouldn’t let me do it for anyone else until this one was given to Dame Marguerite when she found out about all the help that she and her husband gave to her during her career,” said Mann, who is also one of Davis’ close friends.

#Mann revealed that persons interested in getting a copy of the book can do so on Amazon or contact Davis via Facebook or Instagram page for an autographed copy.

#The book shares the journey of how she fought through poverty, inequality and racism to beat the odds and become a two-time Olympic gold medallist.


’: Federation, All-Out Boxing Club conduct clinics for officials

RINGSIDE: Boxers in action in Grand Bahama as the Bahamas Boxing Federation and All-Out Boxing Club conducted clinics for boxing officials.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photos: Vandyke Hepburn

RINGSIDE: Boxers in action in Grand Bahama as the Bahamas Boxing Federation and All-Out Boxing Club conducted clinics for boxing officials. Photos: Vandyke Hepburn

As of Thursday, September 28, 2023


#AFTER all the uncertainties and challenges, the All-Out Boxing Club and the Bahamas Boxing Federation were able to declare: “Mission Accomplished.”

#Unable to secure a boxing ring in Grand Bahama, federation president Vincent Strachan shipped one there, went and personally set up the ring and conducted clinics for officials to ensure best results.

#Not only did boxing matches take place but a tribute was made to the late Tyrone Oliver. Eunice Oliver and several family members travelled to Grand Bahama for this special occasion.

#She was presented with a plaque from All Out Boxing Club.

#Also, a Sugar Bert championship belt by Bert Wells, president and CEO of Sugar Bert Promotions USA, who was one of the special guests.

#Oliver said her son Tyrone took his belt he won several years ago at Sugar Bert Championship, to have some refurbishment done. Sadly, he never got it back from the individual or company contracted to do the work.

#The unknown person/s never contacted his family in that regard.

#President Strachan spearheaded a call to the audience for financial contributions to assist Tyrone’s eight-year-old daughter, which was supported by the persons in attendance.

#It is anticipated that this would be a regular ongoing process to help the child.

#The St George’s Gymnasium came alive on September 22 with 10 exciting matches, male and female.

#Night two, September 23 was equally action filled with eight dynamic bouts.

#Not bad for a first time for Jermaine Gibson, head coach and president of the Grand Bahama Boxing Association.

#Truly the magic is back with boxing in our second city.

#Gibson also announced the next event is all set for October 28.

#The main purpose is to host regular boxing shows to provide the boxers with actual competitions.

#Presently, there are more than 200 boxers on Grand Bahama, the majority of whom are from several high schools.

#Day 1 Results

#DeVano Dorsette defeated Luciono McPhee Jr, in 3rd round.

#Menyenek Bowe lost to Nicholas Doonuate, majority decision.

#Andrea Rolle defeated Chanea Stuart in 3rd round (female high school).

#Mataya Young won over Tyrah Rolle (female novice).

#Keano Cox lost majority decision to Josiah Smith (Novice 135lbs).

#Jiraya Francios won majority decision over Louvens Norvilus (high school, 156 lbs).

#Peter Grey won over Aladden Ellis (Bimini) 156 lbs novice in 2nd round Special Championship match.

#Keanu Greene defeated Michael Felistine in unanimous decision (high school division 185lbs cruiser weight).

#Clearance Hepburn defeated Elijah Smith. Majority decision, Novice 185lbs.

#Malino Knowles defeated Lincoln Alleyne, referee stopped contest in 2rd round 185 lbs novice.

#Day 2 Results

#Kaymani Kelly, decision Luciono McPhee Jr, age 13, 120lbs division.

#Rosnell Williams decisioned by DaVano Dorsette high school division, 110 lbs category.

#Josiah Smith defeated Nicholas Doonuate novice championship, 135 lbs.

#Keano Cox decisioned Menyenek Bowe, novice 135lbs.

#Jariaya Francios won by decision over Benito Rolle, Championship, age 16, high school division.

#Joni Vega defeated Louvens Norvilus, high school, age 16, 256lbs.

#Tyrah Rolle defeated Andrea Rolle, majority decision, novice female.

#Keanu Greene defeated Michael Philistine, 3rd round, Championship.

‘Obie’ Wilchcombe was a sportsman

The late Minister Obie Wilchcombe shares a moment with Burkett Turnquest and friends at his recent birthday.

The late Minister Obie Wilchcombe shares a moment with Burkett Turnquest and friends at his recent birthday.

As of Wednesday, September 27, 2023


SHOWN, from left to right, are Jim LaRoda, Bernard Dorsett and the late Obie Wilchcombe.


The late Minister Obie Wilchcombe with some members of the Sunburners football team.


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Before he got his feet wet in politics, Burkett Turnquest said he was able to persuade former Minister of Social Services Obediah Hercules Wilchcombe to become the president of the Commonwealth American Football League in 1990-1991.

#Wilchcombe, who had served previously as president of the Grand Bahama Amateur Basketball Assocation before he moved to New Providence as a journalist at ZNS, served with Turnquest as his first vice president for one season before he got into politics.

#The duo, at the time, played with the Sunburners Football Club, coached then by Richard Gardiner. Wilchcombe, however, quit playing as the Sunburners’ quarterback the following year, relinquishing his position in the CAFL and turned his attention to running for office in the Progressive Liberal Party.

#“I just had my 70th birthday and I invited him down to celebrate with some of our football friends,” Turnquest said. “That was the last time we talked face to face, but we still communicated over the phone.

#“Obie was a nice, guiet guy. He always wanted to organise things. We did well together as a team because we were able to advance the league.”

#Popular businessman Bernard ‘Porky’ Dorsett said he was so shocked when he heard about the passing of Wilchcombe that he called his former Sunburners Football Club teammate to confirm whether it was true or not.

#When he didn’t receive an answer, Dorsett said it confirmed his worse fear that Wilchcombe, a former quarterback in the Commonwealth American Football League, had indeed died.

#“I thought it was a joke when I woke up and saw the notice on my phone. I had to call him, but he didn’t answer the phone. He would call me back because we talked all the time,” said Dorsett, who was the backup quarterback to Wilchcombe.

#“The man was a consummate sportsman. He played the game, he loved the game. I had some good times playing with him. I still can’t believe that he is dead.”

#Dorsett, the proprietor of Porky’s Gas Station, said he remembers how they both were in attendance at Turnquest’s 70th birthday party on January 20 at his home in Montagu near Queen’s College.

#“We were there talking foolishness all night,” Dorsett said. “It was like old times for us. He cracked me about not attending my party. I told him that the next one he will definitely be there.”

#While he was a double sport superstar, Wilchcombe held court in basketball in Grand Bahama at the YMCAS Gymnasium, but stuck mainly to American football here in New Providence with the Sunburners Football Club mainly at the DW Davis playing field.

#The Sunburners’ archrivals were the Pros Football Club and Ken Kerr, representing the club, extended their heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Wilchcombe’s immediate family, friends and fellow colleagues in government and his beloved constituents of West End, Grand Bahama and Bimini.

#“We also want to extend our thoughts and prayers to his wider sporting family and in particular the Sunburners Football Club of which he played numerous years as captain and quarterback,” Kerr said.

#“He was instrumental in leading them to their first national championship against us. This was for him and his team a cherished and long overdue victory because they were challenged over the years to beat the Pros.”

#Kerr also noted that Wilchcombe’s competitive drive on the field transcended in his daily life and his politics.

#He noted that under his calm demeanour, he was a fierce competitor.

#“Obie loved sports and will be sorely missed,” Kerr stated. “Again, on behalf of the Pros Football Club, we extend our best wishes to all during this extremely difficult time. In sports as in life, Obie competed well. May God grant him peace and blessings to his family. Our country has lost a gem.”

Coach Franklyn Williams ‘was an unsung hero’

Shown, from left to right, are track and field officials, NACAC president Mike Sands, technician Rev Trevor Moss and coaches Rupert Gardiner and Shaun Miller Sr.

Shown, from left to right, are track and field officials, NACAC president Mike Sands, technician Rev Trevor Moss and coaches Rupert Gardiner and Shaun Miller Sr.

As of Wednesday, September 27, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#SCORES of Bahamians showed up at the Christian Life ministries to pay their last respects to the late coach Franklyn Williams, who was lauded as an “unsung hero” for the role he played in the development of so many young track and field athletes.

#The 63-year-old Williams, the coach of the 4-D Stallions, was laid to rest in his coffin with his trademark cap, whistle and toothpick in his mouth before he was funeralised and interred into Woodlawn Gardens.

#Officiating were Rev Trajean Jardorette and associate pastor Carolyn Gordon.

#Also in attendance were Rev Dr William Thompson, Rev Patrick Paul and district elder Portia Ferguson, who all participated in the service.

#In giving his condolences, the senior pastor at Faith United Missionary Baptist Church called Williams an “unsung hero,” who may never get the credit that he deserves for what he has done in transforming the lives of the members of the 4-D Stallions Track Club.

#He encouraged the athletes who were highlighted to show their appreciation to coach Williams by continuing to be disciplined and dedicated to the sport. It was a similar message that was given by coach Williams’ only living brother Kevin and Albert Gaitor, who was instrumental in getting the club started.

#The former distance runner, who attended the Big Pond Primary School, CH Reeves Junior High, RM Bailey Senior High and the College of the Bahamas, began his employment as a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

#After serving for three years, he became a certified electrician. However, Williams; ventured back to his first love, track and field, as he got two of his eight children, Mizpha and Franklyn Williams Jt to follow in his footsteps. They took it a bit further as they went on to represent the Bahamas at the CARIFTA Games.

#He eventually formed the 4-D Stallions, using the logo “Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline,” in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations. BAAA’s president Drumeco Archer lauded coach Williams for the remarkable job he has done with the club, producing one of the bright young stars on this year’s CARIFTA team in Darvinique Dean, who is now a member of the Red-Line Track Club and a student of St Augustine; College.

#His brother Kevin told about how coach Williams was actively involved in Church and together they sang with their other deceased brothers in a popular group called the “Gospel Brothers.” He noted that not having a car, coach Williams was dedicated to fulfilling his obligations and on time to his family, Church, work and the 4-D Stallions.

#Williams was married to Audrey Williams and along with their children, he leaves behind four sisters and a brother. His only uncle Ronald Williams said coach Williams will be sorely missed because he was so committed to living his life to the fullest.

‘Nardo’ Dean pleased with bodybuilding medal haul

Federation president Joel Stubbs, wearing tie, poses with Team Bahamas on their return home.

Federation president Joel Stubbs, wearing tie, poses with Team Bahamas on their return home.

As of Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Team manager Nardo Dean, centre, with Ricardo Gibson and Tim Rolle on their return home.


#Senior Sports Reporter

#ALTHOUGH they didn’t have a full team like their counterparts, team manager Leonardo ‘Nardo’ Dean said he was still pleased with the performances of Team Bahamas at the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships.

#The 10-member team, selected by the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Wellness Federation, returned home from Aruba yesterday where they collected a total of four gold, three silver and two bronze with eight other top six place finishes for seventh in the field of 10 countries who participated in the event over the weekend.

#“Each of the athletes competed beyond their expectations,” Dean said. “They represented us well, from their attitude to their personalities and mixing with the other teams. They were very good representatives of the federation and the Bahamas.

#“Each of those athletes did a fantastic job and we are very proud of them. Terrion (Kemp, who won his professional card in the men’s physique division) was one of them. He came under me when he got started in the sport.

#“I saw the talent in him from the very beginning. I saw his discipline, his drive and his passion for the sport.

#“The others didn’t get their pro cards, but as long as they stay focused and keep God first, they will become champions. All of them are champions.

#“Even though who finished fourth to seventh did their job in helping us to gain points and they were able to encourage each other when they were on stage.”

#With his job done, Dean said he will now take a break away from the sport in an executive role, but will continue to work behind the scenes to assist in the further growth and development of the sport.

#“This year will be the end of my season, but my aspirations for the federation is for it to continue to grow,” Dean said.

#“Whoever takes over my position, I know they will do a good job helping to motivate the people and make sure all of their plans are well kept and executed.

#“As for the athletes, we met with them before and after the competition and they know exactly what their homework should be to improve for next year.

#“We know that we had some athletes who were hyped up to compete in their first international meet.”

#With the CAC Championships going to Guyana next year, Dean said they will ensure that Team Bahamas is ready, especially as they look at the athletes who competed on the team this year and those who didn’t get to compete in their National Championships.

#“Hopefully with the influx of a lot of these new athletes that we have, we will get more cohesiveness and more support from the general public as well as corporate and the government to assist us getting a bigger and better team.”

#Compared to their counterparts, Dean said one of the reasons why the Bahamas can’t regain its spot as one of the top countries in the championships is because they don’t have the funding to take the big teams like they did in the past when Bahamas dominated. “We may not be getting the gold, silver and bronze, but we’re still scoring points across the board in almost every division,” he said. “Hopefully we can send a bigger team next year and become a leader in this region once again.”

#As he prepares to step down, Dean said the federation will be looking for some more vibrant persons to get involved to stay in and make their contribution to the sport in getting some fresh, new faces at the top.

#Making the transition from track and field and gymnastics, Dean first got involved in the federation in 1996 when Danny Sumner served as the president. He has worked behind the scenes until he was promoted to the executive board.

#The former public relations officer also served as the national coach for Team Bahamas before he was elevated to team manager under president Joel Stubbs.