Harks Were Here!(Part III)
JUMP BALL No. 75 by Arlington James
Part II of the article completed the presentation on "So Close, But Yet So Far", presented on the lack of a dedicated team coach, Harks' high-scorers, and began presenting on Harks' player and team awards and accolades. The article concludes below.
Harks' Player and Team Awards & Accolades (Ctd): Over the years a few players on Harks received individual awards while the team took a few "runners-up awards" (Ctd).
Edward Francis – Most Outstanding Division I Rookie for 1985.
Donnie Robinson – DABA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for 1991, even though Harks did not capture that year's championship.
Harks were runner-up in the Division I knockout championships in 1978 and 1989, and in both League and Knockout competitions in Division I in 1991.
Shared the runner-up level of the winners' podium in the 1977 DABA Off-Season competition with Cardinals.
Took the runner-up position in the 1982 Hannah Raffoul Play-Offs.
Players On National Team: Harks had an impressive list of 11 players who represented Dominica with distinction on the Senior National Basketball Team. They include George Andrew, Ashworth Daniel, Edward Francis, Augustus Harris, Emanuel Loblack, Lester Mitchel, Randolph Joseph, Donnie Robinson, Henry Shillingford, David Williams and Lennox Xavier/Jervier.
Individually, these players proudly represented Dominica in the CARICOM, OECS and Windward Islands Championships, as well as in a few friendlies.
Harks On Tour: As a team Harks represented Dominica on only one occasion, when they co-represented the Nature Isle, together with Cardinals, in the 2nd (1991) Regional Basketball Club Championship held in Grenada.
Change Of Colours: Harks debuted playing in white-and-blue uniforms which were sewn by their sponsor at the time, Dawn Creation. They next changed into a full maroon outfit, then to green with white trimmings, then to white-and-red, and took their final free-throws dressed in red-and-white. Interestingly, Harks' successors – Blazers I - inherited Harks' final team colours.
Team Sponsors: Over Harks' almost two decades on the court they had three sponsors. They played as Dawn Creation Harks from their inaugural season, then as Skol International [Beer] Harks, then as SAG Toyota Harks and finally as SAG Motors Harks. They were sponsored by SAG from 1984 up to their dissolution at the end of 1992. Many Thanks to those sponsors.
Holding High Basketball Positions: Some of the individuals who played on Harks went on to hold key positions in Dominica's basketball.
*Edgar Robinson – Dominica Amateur Basketball Association President (1982 to 1984, 2000 - 2002, and 2008 - 2010); Coach of the Senior National Team (1997, 2012); and National Team Manager (1990).
*Michael Casimir – Senior Referee; officiated at CARICOM Basketball Championships.
*Augustus Harris – Head Coach of Senior National Team in 1985, and of Dominica's Schools Basketball Team at the 1991 Windward Islands Inter-Schools Games; Senior Referee; President of the Dominica Basketball Officials Association (DBOA) for one term.
*Blaize Jones – Served as DABA President (1986 – 1988).
*Al Monelle – President of DABA, President of DBOA and was also a senior referee.
Harks' Transition to Blazers: A team registering as V.B. Massacre Blazers first competed in DABA's Junior Division, in 1991 and that year they captured the Division III League Championship. The following year the team stepped up to play in the Intermediate Division (Division II), while Harks were running the court doing their finale.
1993 saw a merger of sorts, of the former Harks players with the best players of the 1992 Blazers team to form Blazers (Senior) team, even with a Blazers team playing in "Intermediates".
Blazers Senior made their grand entry into DABA's 1993 "League", sending a powerful, unequivocal message to Cardinals, Flames, Pros and the five other senior teams by capturing that year's Division I Knockout championship and Best Offensive Team award.
It should be noted that from 1994 and for several years thereafter, Blazers only competed in the senior division of the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association. Additionally, by the time that DABA's competitions were unceremoniously interrupted by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Blazers (senior) had already survived 24 seasons, making them possibly the third longest surviving basketball team in Dominica (after Pros and Cardinals), and also the second most decorated basketball team in Dominica.
Jump Ball extends best wishes to all former Harks players who are now retired or who are still active in competitive basketball with Blazers.
Jump Ball thanks Robo, Lobie, Dave, Arrow, Glenson and Yannick for their contributions towards the production of this article. Statistical information sourced from archived editions of Star Dominica and The New Chronicle, and from basketball season reports (1988, 1989).