by RENALDO DORSETT
The Darell Sears Showcase continues to be a staple on the Bahamas’ basketball calendar and gains recognition by showcasing the best talent the country has to offer.
The 14th edition of the event concluded yesterday at the St. George’s Jaguars Gymnasium in Grand Bahama.
Approximately 80 players participated in the camp which featured scouts, coaches and representatives from 25 high school and collegiate coaches in the United States.
Sears, the longtime coach of the Jaguars, 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.
Sears talked about the improvements he has seen in the event since its inception.
“My eyes are a bit diff so I always look for the little things. The coaches and the kids had a wonderful time and I think our people had a great job. There are improvements we can make and I think that I am learning more and more that if one child gets the opportunity at the next level then it’s a success,” he said, The thing that the coaches have spoken me about is the guys’ athleticism. What they are excited about, especially for the ones that have been coming the last two, three years and what they have recognised is that the skill set and IQ of the game has improved. We know we have guys that can attack but in years past one of the knocks has been guy’s wouldn’t know when to pull up or when they get to the rim they wouldn’t know the appropriate move, now they recognise defences better and their games have improved.”
The age bracket for the showcase ranged from ninth grade to unattached. It also featured current Bahamian junior college players looking to progress into division I.
“Hopefully we can reach a bigger audience and reach even more programmes in the future, particularly for those coaches who can not attend,” Sears said.
Showcase alumni includes some of the most recognised names in Bahamian basketball over the past 14 years and in particular, the best players out of Grand Bahama.
Some of the past participants in the showcase includes professional players Magnum Rolle, Kadeem Coleby, Kentwan Smith, Garvin Hunt and current division I players Buddy Hield, Lourawls Nairn Jr, Kentwan Smith, Prince Cooper Jr, Travis Munnings, Nathan Bain, Kenneth Taylor, Andre Sands and Dwight Coleby.
Scores of other players have received scholarship opportunities to join high school, junior college, division II and division III programmes across the United States.