It’s not a secret about how good the athletes here are in South Florida.
College coaches from all over the nation scour the streets of Miami-Dade & Broward county looking for new recruits to play for their respective programs. Even though the South Florida area is predominantly known for the incredible local football talent that emerges each year, basketball isn’t too far behind either. The sport has been gaining a lot of traction and popularity within the community because of the recent success of the Miami Heat.
Because basketball has been gaining a lot fans down in the area, what if you had an awesome idea to gather the remaining local talent and have them participate in a basketball tournament?
That’s exactly what Mr. Anthony Witherspoon did. As a former collegiate basketball coach for more than 25 years in states such as Georgia and Louisiana, Mr. Witherspoon has always enjoyed basketball and understands the lessons about teamwork and consistency that the game teaches those who play it. His most recent position was as a head coach as Clark Atlanta University and he also worked at several other HBCU schools before ultimately relocating to Atlanta.
That’s why Mr. Witherspoon worked alongside with the Miami Host Committee to help create an event that will be all inclusive to athletes around South Florida.
Welcome to the International Youth Sports Festival.
“I recognized that sports is a big, big entity in our society. I thought why not make it inclusive of an international youth sports festival?” said Witherspoon.
The plan was created from the vision of the age old Goombay Festival that many in South Florida are already so in love with. Due to the fact that it was time for a change with the Goombay festival, the Miami Host Committee decided to rebrand it and that’s when the Miami Bahamas Junkanoo Festival was birthed.
That was only the beginning because Mr. Witherspoon also thought, why not create an event that will be bigger than food and music, which is the inspiration behind the International Sports Festival. During the sports festival children are going to have the opportunity to compete against other teams from around the South Florida community, as well as teams who are coming in from the Bahamas.
It’s not all just for the children either.
There will also be events for the former athletes who still have a competitive itch. There are two 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. One for the 21 and over age range and the other for 35 and over. Winners in the 3-on-3 tournament will be walking away with a $500 cash prize.
This year the International Sports Festival can boast that they have basketball and soccer, but next year it’s only going to get bigger. Some of the future plans are to also bring in more youth by creating a 10U and 12U age division. In addition, there are also plans to add more sports including track & field, swimming and tennis.
“I thought it would be a powerful addition to a festival, having something unique by including sports. It would be a good way in creating and developing a legacy that will leave better value in the Junkanoo festival by adding in youth sports….Our goal is to make it the biggest international youth sports festival in the nation” said Witherspoon.
The most important aspect about the festival is the fact that there will be a leadership conference held days leading into the festival. Coaches from around the city, as well as former NFL players are expected to join the panel to help teach youth crucial leadership skills. The knowledge that these children are going to gain before they even pick up a ball is what will help impact their lives for the better.
“International Sports Festival”
July 23 – 25, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
4000 Grand Avenue Miami, FL 33133
14U Soccer & Basketball
17U Soccer & Basketball
21U 3-on-3 Basketball
35U 3-on-3 Basketball
***For more information contact 404-505-8554***