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East Rockers coached by Leslee J. Smith win Lower Estate Basketball Tournament

In his first undertaking as coach, semi-professional basketball player Mr Leslee J. Smith lifted a championship trophy, along with his team East Rockers, who won the Lower Estate Basketball Tournament hosted by Skillful Ballers Basketball Club last week.

The youth tournament, which ran from Wednesday, February 10 to Saturday, February, 13, 2021, was held at the Lower Estate Basketball Court and saw action in three divisions.

In the Under 23 Division, East Rockers, under the guidance of the experienced national player Smith, bested the likes of Skillful Ballers, Point Blank and We Still Got It to take the championship.

Anthwon Robinson was named Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Add coaching to Leslee J. Smith’s resume!

“It was fun coaching the guys. Unfortunately, we had little preparation, so it was a challenge to get everyone on the same page, but my assistant coach Requan 'Bambi' Fahie helped me out a ton especially with the substitutions,” Mr Smith told Virgin Islands News Online in an exclusive interview.

Mr Smith said his youngsters were very receptive of his coaching style and they got better each game, adding that he thought their best performance as a team came in the championship round.

Coaching strategy

“In terms of strategy, I thought we had the best big men in the tournament so I wanted them to really dominate the offensive rebounds, that was our advantage. We also have fast guards that can really push the pace once we got good stops on defense, so pretty much just wanted them to play to their strengths. I do think we have a lot of skilled players. On each team there were some players that really stood out so the ability is there but they lack consistency which comes with the right guidance.”

Smith, who has played in the British Basketball League, said it was a great tournament, “we came out victorious and I'm looking forward to the next one.”

Gunners take 16-18 Division Title

Meanwhile, in the 16 - 18 Division, Willful Skillful Jr, Gunners, Team Elite and Cubs vied for the championship, which was eventually taken by Gunners.

Vern Frett of Gunners was named MVP.

The 13- 15 Division saw 2 exhibition games between Skillful Ballers and Young Stars.


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