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#524887 08/02/17 05:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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What A Difference A Year Makes

The Bird's Isle basketball court is a Belize City landmark. It was the showcase for Belize's best basketball talent in the 70's and also a concert venue for acts such as a very young Byron Lee and the Dragonairres and Pluto Shervington, among many other songsters and entertainers.

But, last year when Hurricane Earl lashed Belize City and its environs, the court was left mashed up. But, exactly one year later the historic Birds Isle basketball court has been resurrected but with a sleek and finer finish. Today Henry Young Jr. told us more about the renovations:

Henry Young Jr., Owner, Birds Isle
"It took about like nearly 4 to 5 months to actually get rid of the old court and this one started probably in February and it has been a very challenging year to say the least but we decided to go with the same wooden floor because it is easier on knees especially when you get older, you play on cement it damages the knees so we went with the regular wooden floor."

Courtney Weatherburne
"So in terms of cost how much would you say you spent on this entire project?"

Henry Young Jr., Owner, Birds Isle
"I would say a little under half a million, including everything."

Courtney Weatherburne
"And why did you see it important to invest such a large amount of money in this basketball court?"

Henry Young Jr., Owner, Birds Isle
"Well it has been a tradition that Birds Isle had a stadium before and what we do is we invest in the youth mainly people have a nice place to come and enjoy themselves and that is why we decided to go with the stadium."

Courtney Weatherburne
"The other portion that you are working on is the bleachers right now, tell us about the situation with the bleachers."

Henry Young Jr., Owner, Birds Isle
"Yeah the bleachers, we probably made a little mistake we tried to bring back the old bleachers and when we tried 8 months ago, we renovated the bleachers, painted, sprayed it with oil and everything but the salt air seemed that it had seeped into the iron and it just got even worse, it started to rust so we decided that the next phase is going to build new bleachers."

Courtney Weatherburne
"If another hurricane should hit will this set up here be able to withstand it, will this be able to withstand it?"

Henry Young Jr., Owner, Birds Isle
"I think this could take a category 2 hurricane because this is new, it is stronger, the first one was really dilapidated it was like 45 years old."

So it is expected to be finished and ready for use in early September.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Welcome Back To Bird's Isle

Last week Tuesday, we told you how the owners of the Bird's Isle Basketball court had revived it after Hurricane Earl smashed it to bits in August of 2016. And so now basketballers around the city can return to the iconic court.

The owners are staging a grand re-opening event, to show that high-level basketball play is back at that location.

An all-day marathon tournament will be held there on Sunday, and here's what the organizer and one of the athletes had to say about event which announces the return of Bird's Isle:

Vince Young Jr. Organizer
"Sunday we will have a grand opening tournament for the basketball court. Lots of people, lots of my friends grew up here playing ball and I think it means a lot to the community to the island, everyone is messaging and asking me when is the isle will done. They missed the board court which is the only board court at Belize. so it will be a good family event, bring out the family, a good 5 and 5 basketball, 8 teams, a thousand dollars grand prize. Now we have a team from Belmopan, everyone else's team is from here. So everyone should come out. This court helps my friends who told me, that it keeps them out of trouble. You have something fun to do. So this court is very important to a lot of people."

Darwin "Puppy" Leslie - Veteran Basketballer
"From ever since I have graduated from high school, 1999 that's when I made a transformation looking for what I was going to do next and I ended up around this community, Yabra community. It means a lot because from 1999 to now 2017, it's like roots. So the Bird's Isle means a lot and when I saw the weather come and crash it all down and it caved in, I never thought that the court would have been established again. I felt like they probably would have gone into business. It's very good to know that Vince Young Jr. still have the mind-set to keep the basketball going at the Bird's Isle."

Vince Young Jr. Organizer
"The entrance fee is 3 dollars which is reasonable. We start at 9 o'clock, it's a marathon tournament. We go throughout the day. It will be 7 games the whole day, 4 games for the first round, 2 games for the second round and the last championship game which should be finished around 5:30-6:00. We will also have food, refreshments and trampolines for the kids."

Darwin "Puppy" Leslie - Veteran Basketballer
"I would like to invite Belize City and everyone around Belize City because from the rosters that I have seen, these are definitely some of the top players in Belize City and I know that a team is coming from Belmopan, players are coming from all around the country."

The tournament starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday and closes at around 5 p.m. The Entrance fee is $3.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,267
I love Bird's Isle. Very special place.

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