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ST. CROIX — December 17 was proclaimed Mahkeal Parris Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands by Governor Kenneth Mapp during a ceremony at Government House here on Monday. The honor was yet another momentous chapter in Mr. Parris’s journey, following his win at the 2018 9-Ball Championship Juniors Under 17. The youngster was given a hero’s welcome home on November 5.
Speaking at the proclamation ceremony were a number of individuals, including Mahkeal’s family members, St. Croix Central High School Principal Carlos McGregor, Emile Henderson, who serves as Governor Kenneth Mapp’s legal counsel, and the governor himself, among other individuals.
“I congratulate and commend Mahkeal for his tenacity, his excellence, and his sportsmanship, and for his achievements and representation of Virgin Islanders throughout the territory,” Governor Mapp said. “You certainly raised the stature of the Virgin Islands,” Mr. Mapp later added.
“First and foremost I would like to thank Governor Mapp for all he has done for me thus far. Some may not know but Governor Mapp was a big contributor to my trip to Russia,” said Mahkeal in his brief remarks. “I would like to also thank him today for signing this proclamation in honor of me. I feel honored that he has chosen to honor me in such a remarkable way, and I will continue to make great accomplishments.” Mahkeal also thanked his family, his coaches throughout the years, small business owners and the community for supporting his endeavors, and “Team Mahkeal” for their efforts in fund raising.
According to a release issued recently, Mahkeal was introduced to the sport of billiards at an early age and is the first Virgin Islander to become a member of the prestigious Colorado-based Billiard Education Foundation, which is committed to promoting a lifelong love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships.
In 2011, he won the Best Youth 9-Ball Tournament on Tortola, BVI and competed in the Junior National 9-Ball tournament in DeKalb, Illinois at the University of Illinois. On November 3, 2018, Mahkeal’s hard work and determination paid off when he became the first American to win the world champion title in the under-17division.
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