IT&E renews support for interscholastic basketball program


From left, NMI Basketball Federation president James Lee, Network Operations and Engineering director Velma Palacios, IT&E CNMI general manager Rose Soledad, and executive director for Customer Operations Rob Harrell pose for a group photo at the IT&E office in Susupe last Wednesday after formalizing their partnership that would support this season’s IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

IT&E is keeping its commitment to the interscholastic basketball program after agreeing anew to be the title sponsor of the 2022-2023 season of the interscholastic league co-organized by the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation and the CNMI Public School System.

IT&E CNMI general manager Rose Soledad, executive director for Customer Operations Rob Harrell, and Network Operations and Engineering director Velma Palacios met with NMIBF president James Lee last Wednesday to formalize the partnership that would support the program, which serves students and teachers of Rota, Tinian, and Saipan.

“IT&E is once again supporting the interscholastic basketball program here in the CNMI, as we continue to enjoy and work with partners that give back to our children and to our public and public school students—to get these kids back to being athletic and healthy and socializing as we continue to battle through the pandemic,” Harrell said. “Our support goes not only to school level, but also to adult sports events throughout the islands for us to follow up and continue promoting Get Fit, CNMI-type of programs.”

The 2022-2023 IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League kicked off last Sept. 14 via the girls middle school competition, which features nine teams. Last year’s runner-up Francisco M. Sablan Middle School swept its two assignments in the opening week for a share of the early lead in the team standings with Tanapag Middle School. Other schools competing for the girls middle school division are defending champion Grace Christian Academy, Agape Christian School, Dandan Middle school, Chacha Oceanview, Saipan International School, and Hopwood Middle School 1 and 2.

Next month, the NMIBF is looking at starting the co-ed elementary division and so far, 20 teams have already expressed interest in competing, while there will also be games in the boys middle school and the girls and boys high school categories.

Last year, despite the delay of matches and changes in schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the inaugural season of the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League brought together 600 students and 80 coaches across the three islands and featured about 40 teams from more than 30 schools. (PR)

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