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Briland Basketball Players Wait For Lights
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Page 1 of 1Total of 1 messages
Posted by:Oct 19th 2007, 06:48:23 pm
Fig Tree News Team://

2nd November
Harbour Island Basketball Players Want Court Lights

Gerrino Saunders, Bahama Journal

On Monday Gary Sands an official at the BEC Office in Rock Sound Eleuthera said an estimate had been produced for BECís Head Office, detailing what it would cost to install lights at the park.

(Photo Gerrino Saunders)

HARBOUR ISLAND LEADER -- Youth Leader Andrew ďPackerĒ Johnson, cracks a smile during the half time break at the recent Harbour Island 16th Annual Regatta Basketball Tournament.

Basketball players on Harbour Island are thankful for the efforts by Local and Central Governments that transformed what was once the public dump site into a beautiful basketball court complete with glass backboards, break-away rims and a natural breath-taking view of the harbour between "Briland" and mainland Eleuthera.

However, every day the fun and excitement that keeps countless young men and boys busy and out of trouble, come to an end once the sun sets because there are no lights at the ball court.

For many months the players have been waiting for Bahamas Electrical Corporation to install the much-needed lights and now with the time change, the sun sets at 5:30 p.m. The situation has gotten frustrating for the players who normally stay on the court late into the evening.

Harbour Islandís Youth Leader, Andrew "Packer" Johnson coordinated the recent Harbour Island Regatta 16th Annual Basketball Tournament that saw visiting all-star teams from north, south and central Eleuthera battle host all-star teams.

And as an example of how the lack of a lighting system has had a negative affect on the ball players on that island, he explained that the tournament which had 15 teams registered, was hampered because games had to be rushed or rescheduled for the following day once the sun sets.

"We havenít had lights to work with since the court was built and that has been a problem for us.

"Particularly, with this tournament," he said, "we have had to cut the time of the games from 20-minutes per half to 15-minutes running time just to be able to complete some of the games and give as many of the guys as possible a chance to play. Hopefully we will be able to get those lights put in very soon."

Johnson said the "hold up" in getting the lighting system installed at the park was with BEC.

However, on Tuesday a reliable source on Harbour Island informed The Bahama Journal that BEC began installing the light system at the ball park last week, and that the work is expected to be completed sometime this month.

On Monday Gary Sands an official at the BEC Office in Rock Sound Eleuthera said an estimate had been produced for BECís Head Office, detailing what it would cost to install lights at the park.

He said the major materials needed were a transformer, cables and light poles. He informed that a number of poles were recently donated for the court area and the work had gotten started. However, he was unable to give a firm completion date.

In the past, Harbour Island and North Eleuthera have been known for their softball and basketball talents. Johnson who was is only 5í 4" tall and was once a pretty good player himself believes that the talent is still there but something is lacking.

He said, "From what I have seen working with todayís players they simply need to have more love for the game because from what I see they do not have that love and respect for the game as much as they should. That takes away from their ability to learn and improve their skills."

It was Johnson who first approached Local Government with the idea to transform the dumpsite into a sports park.

He said, "I came up with the idea after recognizing the need for such a facility and since the park has been completed every evening we have a real good turnout with dozens of young men, teenagers and little boys playing basketball instead of getting into mischief elsewhere on the island."

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