Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

Currently: 79° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Prep Sports:

Durango basketball set for opener in Bermuda

Trip recreational, educational as players will be required to write report on travels

Sun coverage

Beyond the Sun

When Durango High basketball coach Deshawn Henry received an invitation for his team to open the season at a tournament in Bermuda, he didn't hesitate giving organizers a response.

"Of course we weren't going to pass on this opportunity," Henry said.

The trip will be more than about basketball. It also will be educational.

The players can earn one-half a school credit for writing a three-page report documenting the trip. About 640 miles west of North Carolina, Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Trailblazers' traveling party of 13 players, four coaches and a few other officials will arrive in Bermuda on Wednesday. They will gather information for their report Thursday and play a pair of games Friday and Saturday in the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic hosted by the Bermuda Basketball Association.

"It's an amazing opportunity, something that is a once in-a-lifetime experience," senior guard Greg Gentry said.

A team from Bermuda has participated in Durango's tournament the last few seasons. The team had been working on organizing its own tournament for years, with coaches promising Durango a spot in the field if the event became a reality.

"They finally got it together. It will really a no-brainer decision for us," Henry said.

The program raised about $13,000 for the trip, hosting a variety of fundraisers — such as selling T-shirts at football games and hosting a summer camp for children — to make the cost minimal for the players, Henry said.

Freshman guard Paris Estrada — arguably the top ninth-grader in Las Vegas — will make his debut in the tournament. The trip also will be his first time traveling on an airplane.

The 5-foot-11 Estrada, who led Durango's soccer team in goals this fall, is receiving significant interest from basketball colleges, including UNLV. Henry says Estrada's soccer experience has been beneficial on the hardwood.

"Truth be told, he might be a better soccer player," Henry said. "That pass-first mentality he has from soccer really carries over to basketball. There is a lot of hype surrounding that kid. And, I can tell you, he's the real deal."

Durango's backcourt will be its strength this year with Gentry — a player Henry feels will wind up being a Division I player — leading the way. Estrada and sophomore Trevonn Wells also are guards, giving the Trailblazers a dynamic backcourt.

"(The trip) will help us bond as a team," Wells said. "It's going to help our chemistry on the court if we are cool with each other off (it)."

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comment so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.