Long-time CNMI sports patron IT&E is on board the island-wide interscholastic basketball program of the Public School System and the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation.
IT&E will be sponsoring not one, but all five divisions of the 2021-2022 season, ensuring that the interscholastic basketball league will be up and running this month until April next year.
“This sponsorship is another great way for IT&E to support the community. Basketball has been an integral part of life here in the CNMI. When I moved here in 2008, I remembered we sponsored one youth team and we continue to support sports squads from other sports every time there’s a tournament. Today, we are very pleased that we will be able to support, not just one team, but an entire league made up of students and teachers/coaches,” said Rob Harrel, IT&E executive director for Customer Operations.
“We are excited to see both public and private school students compete and represent their schools. Basketball is a great sport, it unITEs people from different cultures, and provides opportunities for our community members. IT&E is happy to be able to help offer these opportunities to students,” Harrel added.
Games kick off today
The IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League will kick off today at the Marianas High School Gymnasium and will feature competitions in the girls middle school division.
Saipan Community School and Hopwood Middle School 1 will play in the opening match at 4:30pm, while other matches scheduled for today are Dandan Middle School vs Mt. Carmel School on MHS North Court and Grace Christian Academy against Hopwood 2 on South Court at 5:15pm. For the 6pm games, it will be SCS battling Tanapag Middle School on North Court and Francisco M. Sablan Middle School squaring off against Hopwood 1 on the South Court. Matches in the middle school division will be played every Wednesday and Friday with the eight Saipan-based teams competing in a round-robin regular season. Tinian and Rota will later join the playoff round that will be held on Oct. 8 and 9.
“It will be an exciting basketball season for our students and the schools, especially now that we have IT&E to support us in the development of our interscholastic program. Through the help of IT&E and the CNMI PSS leadership, we will provide our student-athletes a platform to highlight their performance in the league. We will also provide support to their coaches in a form of workshop and clinics to help them grow the basketball program in their respective schools,” Lee said.
To highlight this year’s interscholastic league, the NMIBF will pick players for the All-Island Selection in five divisions, recognize player of the week in every level, and hand out other individual and group awards at the end of each competition.
“We thank IT&E for this partnership and the opportunity to help strengthen our interscholastic program and showcase the potential of our student-athletes,” Lee said.
After the girls middle school division, the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League will have the girls high school matches in November, co-ed elementary and boys high school in January, and boys middle school in March. (PR)