BOMI 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout opens Friday 11/30
After months of planning and preparation, the Bank of Marshall Islands 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Invitational Basketball Tournament will kick off Friday, November 30 at the College of the Marshall Islands court. Sixteen teams will compete. The opening ceremony will be held starting from 5:30pm with a VIP lineup expected to help launch two-and-a-half weeks of competition.
Expected to speak at the opening ceremony are Internal Affairs Minister Wilbur Heine and Majuro Mayor Mudge Samuel. Ministry of IA staff work together with the Marshall Islands Basketball Federation, which is organziing the Bank of Marshall Islands 12th Ralik Ratak Shootout Invitational Basketball Tournament, while Majuro Atoll Local Government police will assist with traffic and crowd control during the tournament. Police Commissioner George Lanwi has also promised to provide National Police assistance as needed at the opening and throughout the event.
Major sponsor Bank of Marshall Islands will be represented by bank President Patrick Chen, who is a staunch sports supporter. The bank has been the major sponsor of the Ralik Ratak Shootout for many years and without its support, MIBF would not be able to offer more than $3,000 in cash prizes to the competing teams. Another major contributor to the tournament is the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee, which provides funding and other support that makes it possible to hold the annual competition. NOC President Kenneth Kramer and Secretary General Terry Sasser are expected to be at the opening. The College of the Marshall Islands is MIBF's newest partner, and collaborated with MIBF to produce a successful coaching clinic conducted earlier this month. CMI President Carl Hacker is expected to be on hand to speak at the opening.
The opening will be emceed by MIBF Secretary General Deborah K. Shoniber and broadcast live by V7AB radio. All the teams are expected to be present and will be recognized during the ceremony. The opening will be followed immediately by two basketball games. In the women's bracket, Team Mejit will challenge Team Jaluit, followed by a men's bracket game featuring Team Lae v. Team Likiep. For a complete tournament schedule, see an earlier post on our home page.
To get the CMI court ready, Marshalls Energy Company distribution personnel fixed one of the four basketball court lights that had been broken for many years. So the court is now bathed in bright light, with no "dark alleys" as in the past. Courts around Majuro are seeing a feverish level of basketball playing activity as the 16 teams vie for court space to prepare for the tournament.
Daily results of the competition will be posted on this website once the tournament starts.
Photo: Local players practice for the Ralik Ratak Shootout. Photo: Giff Johnson.