Tabernacle Baptist Academy, the 2018 National High School Basketball Champion, and the Hugh Campbell Basketball Champion was on Monday praised for its athletic success and encouraged to continue to strive for that success. However, its winning team members, the Tabernacle Falcons, were urged to also focus on their academics. The Falcons, accompanied by their principal Edward Johnson, as well as the coaching staff of the basketball team, made a courtesy call on Acting Prime Minister (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, at the Office of the Prime Minister.
While congratulating the group on their success, the group was reminded that exams are near and it is now time to focus on their books. “I want to encourage you to continue to focus on making yourselves better. Nothing happens without hard work and sacrifice. There are many roads to success and some of them are easy, others take time and commitment. The easy ones are normally short lived. Instant success. But you also have the instant failure because you have not built and honed your craft and skill, such that it takes you through the hard times. You have made the sacrifice that’s necessary to build that character that takes you through the disappointing times. “I want to encourage you to put in the work. Don’t mind people who have early success, because a lot of them don’t make it to the end. Those who persevere. Even in academics, you know. You see people who are doing well in high school early, and a lot of them don’t follow through. They don’t learn how to study, they don’t learn how to apply themselves because it comes easy. They can read a book and they can regurgitate it. But that only takes you so far.
“If you don’t have that commitment, you don’t know how to discipline yourself to focus and you will fall. This can be devastating to some. So I want to encourage you again to put in the hard work. Understand that nothing comes without sacrifice. There are no instants in this life. No instants. You have to work.” Also present was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis. As a former Olympian, he was able to give advice from a personal standpoint. He noted the very talented athletes, likening them to players on NBA teams like the Detroit Pistons and LA Lakers. “You’ve made Grand Bahama proud. I want to urge you to remain focused, dedicated to the cause. I recognize that you realize you are a student-athlete first. Stay focused on your academics. What is done in the classroom is what will carry you at the end. Stay in the classroom and get your diploma, get your degree, get your professional qualification. Always have basketball as something to fall back on.” In closing, Mr. Lewis reminded the young men that while their names were on the back of their jerseys, they represented their school, their community and as such, were ambassadors of their country.