SPECIAL FROM TOWSON ATHLETICS
TOWSON, Md. – Towson University served as host of the “Islands of the Bahamas Showcase” press conference at SECU Arena Thursday afternoon. The event featured international dignitaries, athletic administrators and sponsors of the third annual tournament.
The Tigers are one of eight programs along with Montana, Incarnate Word, North Dakota State, Miami (Ohio), Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern and Pepperdine that will compete in the Showcase.
“It’s fun to showcase our facility even though we’re not playing the game here,” Towson athletic director Tim Leonard said. “Whenever you have ministers from another country visit your campus and see what we have offer is always great. I am really pumped up and excited for our student-athletes to travel to the Bahamas.”
This will be Towson’s third international trip over the last two seasons. The Tigers traveled to Canada last August for a summer exhibition tour. Towson stayed in Montreal and visited Ottawa and Quebec City. Towson also went to Belfast, North Ireland last December where it won the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.
The press conference was the official kickoff of the “Islands of the Bahamas Showcase.” Speaking on behalf of the Bahamas was Lanisha T. Rolle, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, and Dionisio J. D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation. Also in attendance was Theo J. Neilly from the Embassy Consular of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in Washington, D.C.
Known as one of the premier vacation spots in the world, the Bahamas is a beacon for many sports. Basketball is the most popular sport in the Bahamas, producing talents like NBA champions Mychal Thompson, father of Klay Thompson, and Rick Fox. Former Oklahoma standout Buddy Hield and 2018 NBA Draft top pick Deandre Ayton are also from the Bahamas.
“We are really excited and we’re looking forward to having Towson participate in our event,” Rolle said. “There’s confidence in our country to be able to provide the experience that the players and coaches are looking for. We were looking for an experience that not only the players benefit from but the locals as well with being able to interact with the student-athletes. I am looking for the tournament to be a tremendous experience and a memorable time.”
Towson will open the three-day tournament against Pepperdine on Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. at Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium in Nassau. This will be the second meeting in program history against the Waves, who are members of the West Coast Conference. The Tigers and Waves last played in the 1990-91 season.
After finishing with 18 victories for the fifth time in the last six years, Towson returns seniors Alex Thomas and Jordan McNeil along with junior Dennis Tenstall from last season’s squad that received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll during the month of December.
“It speaks volumes to our program and our administration to let us play in a first class event in an unbelievable location,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. “To have prime ministers and major representatives from the Bahamas here is pretty cool. We’re appreciative of the time they took out of their schedules to be here today and that says a lot about the importance of this tournament.”
This was the second press conference for the Towson men’s basketball this week. The Tigers participated in the Greater Baltimore Basketball Media Day event at UMBC Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers will also take part in the Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) media day on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The predicted order of finish will released as will the preseason all-conference team.
“To have two ministers from the government of the Bahamas to introduce the tournament is priceless,” bd Global president and founder Brooks Downing said. “To discuss an early season event six weeks in advance from a very key market that’s important to the Bahamas is a win-win for everybody. This is a great facility and we’re grateful to Towson for hosting this press conference.”
For complete information, visit www.thebahamasshowcase.com or follow on Twitter at @BahamasShowcase.
Ticket & Hotel Information
All-session passes are now on-sale at www.thebahamasshowcase.com and are good for entry to any of the 12 games of the event. Fans can book rooms Grand Hyatt Baha Mar at the tournament rate, starting at $225 nightly, by visiting www.thebahamasshowcase.com.