#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#A TEAM made up of local and foreign-based Bahamian players have had an impressive run on the AAU summer basketball circuit.
#The Bahamas Jaguars, led by St George’s head coach Darrell Sears, captured their respective bracket championship of the George McClellan Invitational in Houston, Texas during the NCAA’s “live open” recruitment period.
#The Jaguars’ roster was highlighted by some of the top Bahamian high school players, including D’Andre Vilmar, Ahmard Harvey, D’Angelo Mackey, Christopher Johnson and others.
#In the Red Bracket of the HOT division for U-17 players, the Jaguars opened pool play on Friday with a 79-59 win over Backcourt Hoops Elite. On day two they had a 74-71 win over TSK-Texas Supreme Kings and followed with a 60-42 win over Hustle Hard Elite.
#On the final day of competition, the Jaguars closed with three wins. They began the day with a 63-60 win over RL9Elite, followed by an 80-76 win over TX Elite – Tiger Life and in the championship game, took a 69-61 win over Houston Topguns.
#A total of 64 teams competed in the division.
#In the Gold bracket of the SPICY division (U-16) the Jaguars opened tournament play with a 51-42 win over the Houston Rockstarz. They followed with a 55-43 win over FL Elite and suffered their only loss of the tournament 69-66 to eventual bracket champions, Cooz Elite. The Jaguars ended the tournament with a 43-16 win over Beast Elite in a consolation game.
#The GMI is NCAA approved and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most reputable tournaments held during the July live period with over 100 Division I coaches in attendance.
#The foundation was established in 2006 in honour of the late George McClellan. He was a very strong advocate for youth basketball, giving freely his resources to support the achievement of all student-athletes in the Houston area.
#The foundation strives to make a positive impact on our communities by using basketball and community service as a means to inspire, educate, and guide children towards their potential as student-athletes and as people.
#Sears, the longtime coach of the St George’s Jaguars in Grand Bahama, began the practice of travelling with his players to the United States to gain exposure for his players in the late 1990s.
#Since then, he has been able to forge a network of connections that now affords a greater number of players those same opportunities by showcasing their skills at home in his annual showcase in April.
#In 2017, the Jaguars competed in the Big Foot Hoops Las Vegas Classic presented by Hal Pastner in Las Vegas, Nevada. They completed pool play at a perfect 3-0 before they advanced to the main bracket and were eliminated in the second round.
#Prior to Vegas, the Jaguars competed in the Texas Hoops Great American Shootout in Duncanville, Texas.