February 19, 2014
A basketball celebration like never before is being planned by the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF).
Secretary General Clifford Rahming has announced a week of activities, August 4-9, that will culminate with a banquet at which the '40 Greatest' players in the country's history will be saluted.
"It's going to be a big extravaganza. We are going all out. This is an event to deal with the greatest of them all and we have to make it fitting. We want all within the fraternity and public supporters to get on board (on court) with us for a week of basketball fanfare as we pay tribute to the '40 Greatest' players from the 1960s, 70s and 80s," said Rahming.
The celebrations will be in memory of the recently deceased basketball great Cecil Rose. Also, the BBF is working at getting one of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Fame inductees to be in attendance as a special guest. On board is the country's pioneer NBA player Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson.
"We are going to have a fun time. We in the BBF want go through this process of honoring those who made valuable contributions to the sport, by working hard to achieve our objectives, but having fun at the same time. This is a joyful time as we prepare to do something that is bigger than anything ever done in basketball in this country," added Rahming.
The '40 Greatest' will be selected from the names submitted to the BBF. The names have indeed been flowing in and Rahming informed that in May, "we'll start the ball rolling by announcing 80 names from the lot".
About two weeks before the banquet, the '40 Greatest' will be announced and on the night of the banquet, the last item on the official agenda will be a salute to the top five players.
A car raffle is planned as well as a trivia contest that will begin in April and be conducted in conjunction with Floyd's Lounge on East Street South, just south of the East Street South Police Station and across from the C.V. Bethel High School.
Sponsors will be invited to partner with the federation through gold, silver and bronze packages and with smaller donations.
The names put forth thus far for consideration are: Sharon 'The General' Storr, Fred Smith, Peter Brown, Freddie Mckay, Al Russell, Basil 'The Kid' Sands, Osborne 'Goose' Lockhart, Tyrone 'Acre' Strachan, Craig 'Magic' Walkine, Jacob 'Shake-N-Bake' Rose, Reuben 'Cheetah' Knowles, Dewitt Hanna, Everette Pratt, Patrick Russell, Cecil Rose, Eddie Ford, Kermit 'Par' Rolle, Keith Smith, Noel 'Yea' Taylor, Arnold Gooding, Sterling Symonette, Tom 'The Bird' Grant, Kenneth Smith, Gary Symonette, Ellis Bodie, Richie Ferguson, Lionel 'Snake' Evans, Dereck 'Bookie' Nesbitt, Pat McKenzie, Samuel 'Bookie' Johnson, Deckery Johnson, Elisha McSweeney, Charlie 'Softly' Robins, Ethan Stubbs, Jimmy Culmer, Rudy Levarity, Ed White, Carl Minns, Rick Fox, Sterling Quant, Peter Gilcud, Carter Lightbourne, Charles Thompson, Jerome Barney, Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson, Bradley 'Shy' Evans, Humphrey Smith, Leon Stuart, George Saunders, Charlie Moss, Eddie Lightbourne, Drexel Martin, Anthony Reckley, Jeff Pinder, Dereck Cummings, Phillip Williams, John Barr, Austin Grant, Simeon Lewis, James 'Goon' Culmer, Paul Rose, Jerry Johnson, Julies Lewis, Milton Russell, Richard Brown, Anton McKenzie, Allison Pinder, Fletcher Lewis, Gary McIntosh, Keith Mullings, David 'Stretch' Morley, Jarrold Russell, Bennett Davis, Ronnie McKenzie and Jock Hall.
The BBF Executive Committee, that will drive the organization of the '40 Greatest' week of celebration, is headed by BBF President Charles 'Softly' Robins. Also on board is vice president Mario Bowleg, vice president Anastacia Sands-Moultrie, vice president Brian Clare, secretary general Clifford 'Spike' Rahming, assistant secretary Sharon 'The General' Storr, treasurer Simone Beneby, general officers Stephen Brown, Freddie Brown and Daryl Sears, and public relations officer Eugene Horton.
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