Bermuda won gold at the Island Games. * Photo by Alex Masters
Bermuda won gold at the Island Games. * Photo by Alex Masters
By any standard, it's been a banner year for the Bermuda Basketball Association. A gold medal in the Island Games; Erica Woods playing for the Great Britain Under-20s; and a first ever attempt to qualify for the World Championships.

How could it get any better?

How about hosting an All-star Memorial Weekend and having two NBA Hall of Famers in attendance? Former Boston Celtics centre Bill Russell and Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Julius 'Dr. J' Erving have ramped up the excitement factor for the weekend's festivities.

Allen Walker, president of the Bermuda Basketball Association said having the legends here speaks volumes about what an important event this weekend will be.

"Never in our history have we had two people of this calibre. We've had players visit our island before, but it was always on a casual level. This is the first basketball event that we had that we brought in two legends. Those are the legends from my day -- the people I looked up to when I was watching basketball. I tried to emulate some moves that Dr. J used to do in my young career when I was playing. This is just great being able to have two superstars like that here."

"It speaks volumes about what we've done in the past year and a half in moving it forward here on the island. It just culminates what we've done."

Walker is hoping for close to a sell out on Saturday.

"We're hoping it will be packed. It's a great opportunity for spectators to come to view basketball and get exposed to it. It gives us an opportunity to showcase our players against international players."

There will be a free clinic on Saturday morning for the youth which will be put on by SKY (Serving Knowledge to Youth).

Lee Green, president of SKy Sports, said: "SKY has been traveling around the world playing basketball indoors and outdoors. What we try to do is intermingle education with sport and use basketball as a way to get our message out to kids."

He stressed their message includes the importance of getting a good education and the importance of staying drug-free. He added the third component was making the right choices in life.

"We all know, with choices come consequences. We hope that the majority of kids hear the message that we're trying to get out and that consequences can be good or bad and we hope that they weigh-in on the good side of consequences."