NPBA season to start next Saturday
A record number of 23 teams are set to compete this year
- Sheldon Longley
- Nov 3, 2023
A record number of 23 teams are set to take part in the 2023-2024 New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) season, battling for the prestigious league tiles and an opportunity to represent the capital of New Providence at the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s National Round-Robin Tournament.
Opening night is set for Saturday, November 11 at Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, and will feature a matchup of the last two division one champions in the league – the defending champions Commonwealth Bank Giants and the Discount Distributors Rockets who won it all in the 2021-2022 season.
Smith said there will be giveaways and surprises all night. The game will be carried live on ZNS TV, as well as other games during the season. Doors open at 7 p.m. on opening night.
“This is a game that is most anticipated. People have been waiting to see the rematch and now here it is,” said Smith yesterday. “There is no reason for people to be home on Saturday ,November 11. Make your way to the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium for what is expected to be a spectacular night of basketball and festivities. We are just happy that basketball is starting again. There will be tremendous talent on the floor and we urge everyone to come out and support these players and teams.”
One of the Giants leading players Michael ‘Furley’ Bain, himself a national team player, said they are focussed on winning another title this year.
“Well, we’re the defending champions and we’re pretty much bring back the same core,” he said. “We have younger talent and there are a few guys who retired and another switched teams, but for the most part, it’s the same core and our expectations are the same, which is to win a championship.”
Ryan Turnquest, a part sponsor of the Rockets and also a player on the team, said they are certainly up to the challenge.
“We pretty much kept the same core of players as well, with a couple additions,” said Turnquest. “Last year, the Giants slipped away because of a few injuries, but we’re not going to let that happen this year. Opening night is going to be real exciting and we’re looking forward to it.”
Smith said this year is being dubbed ‘The Year of the Player’ as they intend to put the spotlight on the players in the league and feature them more. Also, championship rings will be presented to the winners at the end of the season and there will be $10,000 up for grabs in prize money.
“This year is all about a dedication to the players – the persons who have contributed toward the growth and development of this league,” he said. “The two divisions are named in honor of two of the longest-serving players in the league – Derrick ‘Bats’ Ferguson and Michael ‘Boshang’ Cooper. They have excelled in basketball and have made a tremendous contribution, and we thought this would be a fitting tribute to them.”
Competing in division one in the Derrick ‘Bats’ Ferguson Division are the Rockets, the Sand Dollar High Flyers, the Leno Regulators, the TMT Giants, the Zulu Media Great Whites and the Centreville Stompers. In the Michael ‘Boshang’ Cooper Division are the Commonwealth Bank Giants, the Caro Constructors Shockers, the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes, the Tucker Boys Mumbas, the Investment Development Rebels and the Brandon’s Deli Kings.
Competing in division two in the Derrick ‘Bats’ Ferguson Division are the Rockets, the Cyber Tech Marlins, the BIBT (Bahamas Institute of Business & Technology) Great Whites, the Rhythm Rebels and the Sand Dollar High Flyers. In division two in the Michael ‘Boshang’ Cooper Division are the YES (Your Essential Store) Giants, the Produce Exchange Rockets, the Mekaddish Millionaires, the Investment Development Rebels, the Heat Wave and the Javon Medical Shockers.
Opening night will also feature a grand entrance of the teams, supported by special sound and light effects, similar to what is done for National Basketball Association (NBA) teams during their introductions.
Smith at some point during the season, they might have to utilize the C.I. Gibson Gymnasium due to ongoing repairs being done at their regular home, the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Games will be played on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the season and the season is expected to be completed by the end of March in order to give the champions a period to rest for the BBF national championships.