On July 30, young athletes gathered on the basketball court at Zion Baptist Church in Murphy Town for their regular Saturday basketball games. However, this day they had a surprise visit from the Member of Parliament for North Abaco – Renardo Curry. He arrived at the court with boxes of backpacks filled with school supplies.
He addressed the youth, expressing how pleased he was to visit them.
In his remarks he said that although he loved basketball, he never made it professionally. He stressed the point that while sports were important, education was the key to success.
He then shook hands with the players and helped distribute the backpacks. Afterwards, Mr. Curry stayed to watch a couple of games and even threw the tip-off ball for the first game of the evening.
Since the beginning of July, basketball games, sponsored by Zion Baptist Church, have been taking place in Murphy Town every weekend during the evening.
Organized by the representative of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Ishmael Morley and Pastor Everett Strachan of Zion Baptist Church, the league attracted players from Central Abaco and beyond.
The pastors of several churches formed teams and became coaches; others used local sport talents to coach their teams. The purpose of creating the league was to help young men stay out of trouble during the long summer evenings.
Altogether eight churches (Zion Baptist, Church of God of Prophecy, Change Ministries, Youth Ministries, Revival Faith Mission from Crossing Rock, St Mark Baptist Church from Spring City and Zion Baptist Church from Fire Road) joined the league as well as other sports groups, such as the team from Youth in Action, coached by Mr. Morley and the ACH Marlins, coached by Ms. Penn.
The boys were divided into four age groups, the youngest being thirteen and under; the next age category was fifteen and under, then nineteen and under with an open category for young adults.
Besides the regular league games, special tournaments were held in Spring City during the Independence weekend and in Cooper’s Town the first weekend of August.
Members of the sports community volunteered as referees, among them Mr. Morley, Gilbert Davis, Cubel Davis and Randy Davis.
A grill manned by Henley Dawkins put out dinners of hot dogs and hamburgers, happily accepted by the hungry athletes after a hotly disputed game.
The Summer League season was to end the weekend of September 4 with several championship games.