One of the most popular local summer basketball classics, the “Peace on Da Streets” tournament, will get underway on Monday, July 24, and it is promised to be a competitive one. It will be held at the Hope Center on Bahamas Games Blvd., and the championship and fun night will move to the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
Carlos Reid, the organizer for the classic, held a press conference yesterday to launch the event. Some of the event sponsors were present.
The classic will have five divisions consisting of eight teams per division competing for the various championships. It will wrap up on Sunday, June 30 with Family Fun Night that features a three-point contest, a slam dunk contest, the pastors versus politicians game, and the inaugural women’s clergy and politicians’ free-throw competition.
“Our organization is committed to our vision of bringing peace on the streets,” said Reid. “We are therefore committed to providing positive alternatives and solutions to help our young people discover their individual identities and turn from lives of crime and violence.”
The title sponsor is the Brice-Newball Foundation. Their representative, Nadia Butterfield, said that now is the time when the country needs peace on the streets, in the communities and in the country at large.
“The Brice-Newball Foundation is proud to be a part of the sponsorship and proud to support this event on this 27th edition,” said Butterfield. “It is our prayer that as you bring hope to the hopeless and peace back to the streets of The Bahamas, that you know that the Brice-Newball Foundation is in full support.”
There will be a 13-and-under, 16-and-under, 19-and-under, church, and an open division. Reid expects to see some strong competition in these divisions.
“This is the premier basketball tournament,” said Reid. “People have gotten scholarships by just playing in this tournament and players have played professionally who played in this tournament. We are expecting no less. This is why we have increased our prize money because these players have real needs. We expect an awesome show.”
He added that they may extend the number of teams, if need be.
Domino’s representative Naomi Grant said they are privileged to be a part of the event.
“We always look to partner with organizations such as this, which is able to impact the youth,” said Grant. “We definitely want to encourage them to be making wise decisions. Taking them from off the streets and into a positive atmosphere is definitely something that we love to support.”
The “new kid on the block”, IHOP (International House of Pancakes) Bahamas, was represented by Dicrius Ramsey. He said they are looking forward to the event and will continue to support it for years to come.
“The brand is really all about family and we understand that our young people play a pivotal and a vital role in the structure of that family,” said Ramsey. “If they do not have positive things to do and an environment for them to grow and to develop, then we know that
becomes a strain and a burden on the family. In essence, it becomes a strain on our society, and so to sponsor and to partner with Reid, was a no-brainer for us.”
Representative at National Fencing, Dechan Hall, said they are happy to be a part of the initiative.
“We believe in the healthy development of the youth in this country, so when Reid reached out to us, we felt that we should contribute to such a successful family-oriented event,” said Hall. “There is no better way to do it than through sports because sports brings everybody together as a family and it brings everybody together as one.”
Reid said they are looking to include other sports as a part of the festivities in the near future.
At last year’s basketball classic, there was a total of 42 teams participating in five divisions.