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Heat back in The Bahamas

After a six-year hiatus, the Miami Heat are back in The Bahamas, set to engage in a five-day training camp at Baha Mar.

The team, inclusive of players, coaches, officials and executives, touched down on a chartered Delta Airlines flight about 6:15 p.m. yesterday evening at Jet Nassau at the Lynden Pindling International Airport here in Nassau, The Bahamas. As a sign of it being strictly a business trip, upon debarkation, the team was immediately loaded in shuttle buses and transported to Baha Mar which has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Heat.

FTX Digital Markets, a partner of the Heat, is facilitating the trip.

“FTX is pleased to collaborate with one of our strongest partners, the Miami Heat,” said Vice President of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for FTX Digital Markets Valdez Russell. “The Heat play in the FTX Arena in Miami and when the decision was made for them to come to The Bahamas for a training camp, we were delighted to do our part to cause things to happen. This experience is being held in collaboration with Baha Mar, the Ministry of Tourism, and all of our partners who have done an incredible job in welcoming the participants. We look forward to a great week of activities.”

The Heat, the 2021-2022 No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the conference runner-up, will engage in an open practice session this morning in the Inagua Room of Baha Mar.

There will be a youth basketball clinic on Thursday, starting at 4 p.m., at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. The clinic will move to the grand ballroom of Baha Mar on Saturday morning which will be followed by the Heat’s final practice session which will be open to invited guests and the participants of the youth basketball clinic. The team will depart for Miami Saturday afternoon to prepare for the start of preseason basketball.

Players including Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and others, along with coaches, officials and team executives including team president of basketball operations Pat Riley.

The Miami Heat also held training camps in The Bahamas in 2013 and again in 2016. Now, they are back after a six-year hiatus. However, this is the first time for young stars Adebayo and Herro. Butler is a regular visitor to The Bahamas, usually frequenting these shores for offseason training. The only player on the roster who was to the first two training camps in The Bahamas is veteran Udonis Haslem who is entering his 20th season in the league – all with the Heat who drafted him in 2002.

In 2013, when the Heat came to The Bahamas for training camp, they featured established stars in the league such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and were on the tail end of a repeat as NBA Champions.

“The enthusiasm and the energy that went into putting this event together, we could tell that we are in for a great week,” said Russell. “We know 

confidently that the team is focused and disciplined for what’s to come. If The Bahamas is where the energy is captured to ensure that they perform at their best, then we welcome that. We’re just glad to have a world championships team back on our shores.”

The team didn’t give any interviews yesterday, but they were welcomed by the sounds of Junkanoo music, along with officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Education. Also present were representatives from Baha Mar and FTX Digital Markets.

Along with the youth basketball camp, Russell said there will also be community activities conducted by Heat personnel. The camp itself is presented by Baptist Health, and comes on the heels of the team’s media day which also took place on Monday.

The team will have two practices per day, Tuesday to Friday, which are closed to the public.

Last season, the Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals but fell four games to three to the Boston Celtics. They are coached by Erik Spoelstra and finished the regular season as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 win/loss record, two games ahead of the Celtics who entered the playoffs as the second seeded team.