Month: June 2022

Pauline Davis: ‘What Jonquel said about BTC in America was wrong’

As of Tuesday, June 28, 2022




#Senior Sports Reporter

#OLYMPIC champion Pauline Davis said it’s unfair for Grand Bahamian Women’s National Basketball Association star player Jonquel Jones to attack the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) over her sponsorship in the manner that she did.

#Jones, the reigning WNBA most valuable player (MVP) with the Connecticut Sun, was quoted in a feature with ESPN’s Katie Barnes that said she believed her relationship with BTC ended due to her openly identifying as a lesbian and her “non-traditionally feminine” style of dress.

#“What Jonquel said about BTC in America was wrong,” said Davis as she came to the defence of the giant local telecommunications company.

#“BTC sponsors all of us as athletes at different times and the contracts only go to a certain point and then they move on to the next upcoming athlete, which is rightfully so.”

#However, local LGBTQIA group The DeMarco Foundation, through its president and director Alexis DeMarco, threw their support behind Jones, the 28-year-old 6-foot, 6-inch forward, who was the sixth pick overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

#“Jones believes her decision to embrace her identity as a lesbian and dress more authentically came with material consequences,” Barnes wrote. “The Bahamas Telecommunications Co., she says, opted not to renew her contract even though her basketball performance in the United States and overseas had improved.”

#After the publication of the article, BTC issued a statement refuting those claims.

#“BTC has a strong culture supporting equality, diversity, and inclusion. As a company we do not discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community in any form or manner,” the statement said. “BTC currently has an endorsement contract with Olympian Steven Gardiner. All endorsement contracts are executed for a specific period of time.”

#Jones signed as a BTC brand ambassador in 2017.

#As a former executive and lifetime member of World Athletics, the global governing body for track and field, Davis-Thompson said she was instrumental in getting BTC to sponsor the first three editions of the World Relays held in the Bahamas in 2014, 2015 and 2017 before the fourth edition took place in Yokohama, Japan in 2019.

#“BTC has sponsored so many athletes from so many different sports in this country,” Davis said. “In my eyes, BTC is brand number one, not just when it comes to sponsorship of sports, but other cultural events in the Bahamas.

#“So for an athlete of ours to go on the world stage and to throw BTC under the bus is wrong. BTC don’t deserve that.

#“As a double Olympic gold medallist, I stand up and salute BTC for what they have done for this great country of the Bahamas, how they have supported us and I want them to know that I appreciate for what they did for us in this country.”

#Davis, who turns 56 on July 9, said whenever an athlete excels, BTC stands up and provides them with a lucrative contract, but it’s not a contract that is for life,” Davis said.

#“So I want to thank BTC for the support that they have given to our athletes.

#“They have been there for us and so I apologise for what has been said by Jonquel about BTC. I don’t think it is warranted because BTC has been a good sponsor to many of our athletes and to us in hosting the first three World Relays here.”

#As a Bahamian company, Davis said BTC is intertwined in the community just like “conch salad and conch fritters and everything else Bahamian that we eat.”

#She said she’s quite disappointed in Jones’ remarks and wants to assure BTC that the athletes of the Bahamas appreciate all that they do in sponsoring them.

BIG3 set to return to The Bahamas

As of Tuesday, June 28, 2022


#Tribune Sports Reporter

#THE BIG3 is set to return to The Bahamas in 2022 and will highlight its fifth season of professional 3-on-3 basketball by hosting its All-Star festivities at the Atlantis resort.

#Week 12 of the season will include the league’s first All-Star Game, to be hosted Sunday, September 4 at the Imperial Arena.

#The BIG3s fifth season tipped off on June 18.

#The regular season will include two weeks in Chicago, Illinois, and seven in Dallas, Texas before the playoffs and championship game.

#“With so much game-changing news from our league over the last month, we are thrilled to be sharing our schedule for this summer,” said BIG3 CEO Chris Hannan in an organisational press release.

#“Our fans in Chicago, Dallas, and Atlantis brought the fire last year and we can’t wait to welcome them back this summer for our best season yet.”

#With The Bahamas as its backdrop, the BIG3 concluded its fourth season in thrilling fashion and crowned its first two-time champion in league history.

#The league stages its semifinals, followed by the championship and consolation games at the Imperial Arena. All playoff games aired live CBS and streamed on Paramount Plus.

#Jarret Jack delivered an MVP performance with 29 points and the game-winning three-pointer to lead Trilogy to a 50-45 win over 3 Headed Monster in the championship game at the Imperial Arena.

#Jack, who also finished with five assists and three steals, was named BIG3 Co-Rookie of the Year prior to the game.

#Atlantis has hosted NCAA basketball for nearly a decade with Complete Sports Management’s Battle 4 Atlantis brand, FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers, and Miami Heat training camp. The BIg3 playoffs marked the first professional game hosted at the venue.

#The BIG3 was founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The league consists of 12 teams whose rosters include both former NBA players and international players.

#The league has introduced a number of new initiatives including double the number of open tryouts, lowering the minimum player age, and introducing the ‘Bring the Fire’ rule which allows teams one challenge per half determined by an in-game one-on-one.

Chavez Young named player of the week

As of Tuesday, June 28, 2022




#Tribune Sports Reporter

#CHAVEZ Young has excelled with the Buffalo Bison since his return to Triple-A baseball and was recognised as the club’s Player of the Week.

#In six games, Young hit .368, scored six runs, with three stolen bases a .478 on base percentage and a 1.004 OPS. The Bison are 4-2 over that timespan and currently lead the International League East at 41-30.

#The 24-year-old Toronto Blue Jays outfielder is in the midst of a five-game hit streak and has made highlights defensively in the field to coincide with his production at the plate.

#In a June 21 8-7 win over the St Paul Saints, Young made a spectacular leaping catch over the centrefield wall to rob the Saints’ Jermaine Palacios of a grand slam.


Chavez and Clayton Young.

#He finished 2-3 and scored a run in the Bison’s 2-1 win Sunday to conclude the six-game set against the Saints.

#Over the past two weeks, Young is batting .244 with a .367 OBP. He’s doubled twice and hit a home run while scoring 10 runs and driving in six. He’s walked seven times and on the base paths, has six stolen bases.

#In 26 games with the Bison this season, Young is hitting .233 with eight stolen bases, three doubles, a triple, a home run, and nine RBI.

#Additionally, his father, Clayton Young threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to a June 9 matchup against the Worcester Red Sox.

#Young initially intended to begin the season with the Bison when he was assigned to the club on April 5, but was placed on rehab assignment with the Dunedin BlueJays in Single A baseball on May 14.

#His time in Dunedin was highlighted by a perfect day at the plate (3-3) and his first home run of the season in the Blue Jays’ 4-0 win over the Daytona Tortugas on May 20 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona, Florida.

#In five games with Dunedin he hit .278 and slugged .444 with one stolen base.

#Young previously spent the 2019 season in Dunedin and 111 games he hit .247 with 99 hits and 43 RBI.

#He also had an .669 OPS, slugged .354 with 24 stolen bases, 53 runs scored, 17 doubles, four triples, and six home runs.

#Following the pandemic-cancelled 2020 season, he progressed to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the AA Eastern League. He appeared in 78 games with the Fisher Cats and hit .265 with 74 hits and 52 RBI.

#He also had an .758 OPS, slugged .409 with 20 stolen bases, 41 runs scored, 15 doubles, two triples, and seven home runs.

#In January, Young concluded his offseason in the final series of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC), commonly known as the Puerto Rican Winter League.

#He has also spent time in the offseason with the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League.

#Young was recently a non-roster invitee to 2022 Spring Training for the second consecutive year and spent time with the major league roster in the Grapefruit League.

Corrington Maycock voted in as new president of Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches

As of Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Corrington Maycock


#Senior Sports Reporter

#IN a keenly contested election of officers on Saturday, Blue Chips Throwers Club founder and head coach Corrington Maycock was voted in as the new president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches.

#Maycock, in replacing out-going president Shaun Miller Sr, won the post over Bernard Rolle in the foyer of the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium during a break in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ National Track and Field Championships.

#Rolle was eventually elected to serve as the first vice president, Myriam Stapleton as second vice president, Dionne Burton as secretary-general, Sherry Francis as assistant secretary-general, Daron Lightbourne as treasurer. The board members are Andrew Tynes, James Rolle, Mikhilo Strachan and Waldon Whyms.

#“Everyone is on board. Sometimes you have some concerns, but I’m not overly concerned,” Maycock said.

#“I believe that we will work together to get the job done.”

#Already, Maycock and his executives have some plans to put into motion.

#“We’re going to start with our coaches’ education and we are going to work with our constitution because there are some loopholes that we have to fix,” Maycock said.

#“Also our goal is to fix our middle and long distance running programmes.”

#When asked about the field programme, which he specializes in, Maycock quickly quipped that “we’re good. We don’t have to worry about that right now. We sitting pretty with that.”

#As for the Family Islands, Maycock said that is one of the critical points they will be addressing during their coaches’ educational forum.

#“We want to make sure that they are up to par with Nassau and Freeport (Grand Bahama),” he pointed out.

#If there’s anything the coaches can look forward to from Maycock and his administration, it’s transparency.

#“The main thing is we want to be fair and transparent across the board,” Maycock insisted.

#On the work done by his predecessor Miller Sr, Maycock said he believes they got handicapped because of COVID-19 and they couldn’t execute all of their plans.

#“We’re going to piggyback on some of their plans,” Maycock said. “We want to be one of the best executive boards to cross the finish line.”

Junior girls hope to ‘get back into medal round’

FIBA Centrobasket Under-15 Girls Championship

GO TEAM BAHAMAS! - The Bahamas under-15 girls basketball team at the FIBA Centrobasket Under-15 Girls Championship at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

GO TEAM BAHAMAS! – The Bahamas under-15 girls basketball team at the FIBA Centrobasket Under-15 Girls Championship at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

As of Wednesday, June 29, 2022


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Head coach Varel Davis said the Bahamas junior girls national team is a very young team, but they are performing as best as they can at the FIBA Centrobasket Under-15 Girls Championship.

#The week-long championships, which follows the boys under-15 tournament played last week, is also being played at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

#On Sunday, the Bahamas opened up play with a huge 101-20 loss to Puerto Rico, but bounced back on Monday and played much better despite suffering a 79-45 defeat at the hands of the Dominican Republic.

#Davis, who was assisted by Shakira Farrington and Anton Francis, said the team, comprising of players as young as 11 years and as old as 14, got a “good experience” and an “eye opener” in the two games played so far. “It’s not easy because the other countries didn’t experience what we did with COVID-19,” Davis said. “Sports is just opening up for us in the country and the little time that we had, we used to get the girls ready for this tournament.

#“They are in good spirits. They know that we have to work every game to get into the medal round. There are only four teams in the tournament, so our job is to play Mexico tomorrow (today) and hopefully we can get back into the medal round.”

#Dominican Republic 79, Bahamas 45: For the 2nd straight game, the Bahamas found themselves in a hole they couldn’t dig out of as they ended up losing again.

#The Dominican Republic, using its height advantage, took control of the game by outscoring the Bahamas 30-9. In that period, Geontae Simpson scored on a lay-up for a 2-2 tie for the Bahamas, but the Dominican Republic used a 10-0 run to fuel a 12-2 lead.

#Terrell McCoy scored on a lay-up and Dior-Rae Scott added another for a 13-6 deficit. For the rest of the period, the Dominican Republic clamped down on the defensive end, forced a few turnovers that they converted into baskets on the offensive end.

#After falling behind 37-9 to start the second quarter, Savannah Turnquest stepped back and canned the Bahamas’ first three-pointer and Scott followed with a lay-up to cut the deficit to 37-14.

#The Bahamas got another 5-0 run when Turnquest popped a three-pointer and McCoy got inside for a lay-up for a 47-21 deficit, but the Dominican Republic went on to snatch a comfortable 51-22 advantage at the half.

#Coming out of the locker room, Team Bahamas played with a lot more urgency and was only out-scored 17-15 in the period. But in the fourth quarter, the Dominican Republic managed to put the game out of reach with an 11-8 spurt to seal the deal.

#Karina Capellan led a balanced scoring attack for the Dominican Republic, who had four players in double figures. Capellan finished with a game high 22 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

#For Team Bahamas, Savannah Turnquest paced the way with 11 points. Dawynae Knowles was the only other player in double digits with 10 points to go along with six rebounds. Geontae Simpson contributed eight points with four rebounds and Terrell McCoy chipped in with seven points, seven rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.

#Puerto Rico 101, Bahamas 20: Puerto Rico scored one less point in the first quarter than Team Bahamas did in the entire game as the week-long tournament got underway on Sunday.

#In the first half, Puerto Rico opened an impressive 19-3 rout and extended their margin to 49-9 at the half. Puerto Rico continued the onslaught, using an 18-6 spurt in the third for a 67-12 advantage at the end of the third and they closed out the door on the massacre with a 34-5 tear in the fourth.

#While Puerto Rico had five players in double figures, led by Desirek Pereira with a game high 23 points, Terrell McCoy was the only player for Team Bahamas in double digits with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

#Reyanah Green and Dwaynae Knowles were the only two other players to score a field goal.

#Savannah Turnquest, Tajhanique Morley, Dior-Rae Scott and Tichea James all added a free throw to their ledger.

#Team Bahamas was just 7-for-42 from the field and 6-for-16 from the charity stripe, but committed a total of 57 turnovers, compared to 13 by Puerto Rico.

#They held a 56-47 rebounding edge.

#The other members of Team Bahamas are D’Andra Sears, Andica Curtis and Takeithra Hanna.

#Today, Team Bahamas will take on Mexico at 5:15pm in their final round robin game before the playoffs get underway on Wednesday, concluding on Thursday.

The Bahamas avoids relegation to group four

Team shut out Guatemala 2-0 to remain in the Americas Zone Group III

Simba FrenchSend an emailJune 28, 2022 242 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

Facing relegation to the Americas Zone Group IV, The Bahamas’ Davis Cup team responded, defeating Guatemala 2-0 to avoid relegation in group three action at the Costa Rica Country Club in Escazu, Costa Rica, on Saturday.

Baker Newman went up against Sebastian Dominguez and took him down in two sets in the number two singles slot. He dominated the first set and won in straight sets, 6-2 and 7-5. Dominguez played better in the second set as it almost went to a tiebreak.

The Bahamian won nine first serve points and five second serve points in the first set. He came away with four break points in the first set alone. Newman served one ace in the second set – his only ace of the game. He had 11 first serve points and 14 second serve points in the second set.

Kevin Major Jr. needed just over an hour to easily take care of Kaeri Hernandez in straight sets in his match. After injuring his foot earlier in the tournament, Major looked renewed, turning back Hernandez, 6-1 and 6-2.

Overall, Major had 18 first serve points and 17 second serve points. Major won 61 points and gave up 32 points in the match. He won four break points and had two aces.

There was no need for a doubles match as The Bahamas had already clinched the tie.

The Bahamas lost all three of their Pool B matches against Paraguay, Jamaica and Costa Rica. They lost all their matches 2-1.

On Friday, they lost to Costa Rica. Baker Newman played in the number two singles slot and easily won 6-2 and 6-0 against Julian Lozano. Spencer Newman moved to the number one slot as Major battled with an injury. He was up against Jesse Flores. Spencer Newman struggled as Flores won 6-3 and 6-2.

Baker Newman and captain Marvin Rolle played in the doubles against Flores and Pablo Nunez. At the end of the match. It was the Costa Ricans who won 6-3 and 6-2 to give them the tie.

The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) thanked the Bahamian quartet for a strong showing at the competition.

“Their dedication and hard work were evident in Costa Rica. Despite the injury challenges, the team was able to end the tournament with an important win, ensuring that The Bahamas remains in the group three,” the BLTA release stated.

Also staying in group three are Panama and Costa Rica. Paraguay, Jamaica and Venezuela move on to group two. Guatemala and Puerto Rico will be relegated to group four.

Maycock elected as coaches association president

Sheldon LongleySend an emailJune 29, 2022 98 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

Members of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches (BAAC) voted in Blue Chips Athletics Head Coach Corrington Maycock as their new president on Saturday. The body’s electoral meeting was held at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium during the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Youth, Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships this past weekend.

Maycock replaces Shaun Miller Sr. who served as president from 2019. Bernard Rolle was also vying for the presidency, but is now the new first vice president. The new second vice president is Myriam Stapleton. The General Secretary is Dionne Britton and the Assistant Secretary is Sherry Francis. Daron Lightbourne is the treasurer. The board members are James Rolle, Andrew Tynes, Waldon Whyms and Mikhilo Strachan.

Maycock said that he and his team will focus on three areas that need attention.

“We are going to start with coaches’ education and we have to work with the constitution. There are some loopholes that need to be fixed. Our goal is to also fix our middle and long-distance programs,” Maycock said.

Along with coaches education, Maycock’s team is looking to ensure that the Family Islands are up to par with New Providence and Grand Bahama in terms of coaching.

BAAA President Drumeco Archer gave Maycock his blessing and he is confident in his ability in his new role.

“I always felt that Maycock expect the highest level of participation from his athletes and no doubt that he will transfer that level of expectation to the coaches. I had a personal conversation with Maycock and his mandate is very clear which is to raise the standard. He wants to prepare our athletes and coaches for CARIFTA 2023,” Archer said.

Maycock’s specialty is the field events, particularly the throws. He said he is content with the direction the throws program is headed in and that’s not a major area of concern right now. He said his team is hoping to implement fairness across the board.

“We are trying to be fair and transparent going forward,” said Maycock.

The newly elected president said he will attempt to bring some of the plans Miller and his team had to fruition.

“Coach Miller and his executive staff was short-changed because of COVID. They could not do much,” said Maycock. “We are going to piggyback on some of that.”

Maycock and his team will serve until 2024.

The Bahamas’ girls remain winless

Sheldon LongleySend an emailJune 29, 2022 186 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Terrell McCoy goes up for two points during The Bahamas’ game against the Dominican Republic at the FIBA Americas Under-15 Girls Centrobasket Championship, at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. The Bahamas is winless at 0-3 in the tournament.

Team Bahamas couldn’t have asked for a rougher start to the FIBA Americas Under-15 (U15) Girls Centrobasket Championship this week as they are winless in three games, losing each one convincingly.

About a week after the boys ended their version of the tournament in fourth, The Bahamas’ girls are in action and were hoping for a better showing. So far, it’s not to be as they ended the single robin robin section of the tournament winless in three games.

The semifinal games will be played today, and the gold and bronze medal games are scheduled for tomorrow, all at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico – the same venue where the boys played the week before.

Just the top three nations will qualify for the FIBA ​​Americas Under-16 (U16) Girls Championship in 2023.

In The Bahamas’ first game of the tournament, they were drilled by the host nation, losing to Puerto Rico emphatically, 101-20. The Bahamas never stood a chance in the one-sided affair as the more skilled Puerto Ricans raced out to a double digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

In addition to shooting the ball well, the Puerto Ricans played great defense as well, limiting The Bahamas to just three points in the first quarter. By the end of one, Puerto Rico was ahead 19-3. Much of the same continued in the second quarter as the Puerto Ricans outscored Team Bahamas 30-6 to take an insurmountable 49-9 lead into the half.

Puerto Rico continued to pour it on, outscoring The Bahamas 18-6 in the third quarter and 34-5 in the fourth.

Puerto Rico took 43 more shot attempts than The Bahamas and shot 40 percent from the field (38-for-95) compared to just 16.7 percent for Team Bahamas (7-for-42). They knocked down eight three point shots in the game while The Bahamas was 0-for-7 from deep.

Puerto Rico’s leading scorer Desirek Marie Nieves Pereira scored more than the entire Bahamian team with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Mia Canales added 14 points, Arielis Marie Valle Villegas dropped in 13 points and Jayshlynn Vega Rivera and Adriana Isabelle Robles Rivera scored 11 apiece.

Terrell McCoy was the only player in double figures for Team Bahamas with 12. No other player scored more than two for them.

On Monday, The Bahamas fared better but still lost by 34 points to the Dominican Republic (DR). They fell 79-45 in another wire-to-wire loss.

The Bahamas trailed 30-9 after the first quarter and were down 51-22 at the half. They showed some signs of life in the third and fourth quarters as they were outscored just 17-15 in the third and 11-8 in the fourth.

Karina Capellán paced the Dominican Republic with a game-high 22 points on 9-for-26 shooting. Alanna Yiselle Monte de Oca Pérez scored 20 points, Emely Belis Del Rosario added 17 and Keila Saldivar dropped in 10.

Savannah Turnquest led Team Bahamas with 11 points. Dwaynae Knowles contributed 10, Geontae Simpson had eight and McCoy finished with seven.

The Bahamas shot a bit better from the field, going 18-for-68 for 26.5 percent shooting but the DR was at 35.6 percent, shooting 31-for-87.

In The Bahamas’ final game of the single robin robin section of the tournament, they were blasted by Mexico, losing by 100 points, 119-19.

The Bahamas were never in the game as almost half of the first quarter elapsed before they even got on the scoreboard. They were already down by double digits at that point. Mexico went on to outscore them 31-6 in the opening quarter, and as if it couldn’t get any worse, The Bahamas was limited to just one point in the second quarter and that came on a free shot by Takeithra Hanna with just seven seconds left before the end of the first half.

Mexico went on a killer 43-0 scoring run covering the end of the first quarter up until seven seconds left in the first half. They had an inalienable 72-7 lead at the half. Mexico went on to lead 94-13 after the third quarter and led by as much as 102 points in the fourth before settling for the 100-point win.

Nothing positive could be said about this game for The Bahamas.

Sandra Acuña led Mexico in scoring with 30 points on 15-for-20. Mariant Castillo and Channel Ochoa added 14 apiece.

Terrell McCoy and Andica Curtis led The Bahamas with six points apiece.

The Bahamas had its worst shooting performance of the mini tournament, making just 7-of-48 shots for 14.58 percent. Mexico was well over 50 percent, shooting 52-for-88 for 59.09 percent shooting.

Team Bahamas is coached by Varel Clarke.

As mentioned, the tournament served as a qualifier for the 2023 FIBA Americas Under-16 Girls Championship. FIBA Americas is one of five regional bodies under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) – the world’s governing body for basketball.

Smith receives full ride to IMG Academy

High school basketball player one of six to be awarded a scholarship under new program

Simba FrenchSend an emailJune 29, 2022 249 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 w Bahamian high school basketball player Azaria Smith has received a full scholarship to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. She was awarded the scholarship through the school’s Women in Sports Committee scholarship program. RAYGAIL SMITH

Azariah Smith was set to be one of the players representing The Bahamas in junior girls basketball at the FIBA Americas Under-15 (U15) Girls Centrobasket Championship this week, but an injury kept her from travelling with the team.

On Monday, she got the news of her life that she was one of six recipients of a full scholarship to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, through its inaugural Women in Sports Committee (WISC) scholarship program.

Smith just completed the ninth grade at St. Augustine’s College (SAC). She said she was surprised with the scholarship offer and is happy for the opportunity as she continues to further her basketball career.

“I am grateful for the opportunity because it is a very expensive school. It will help me on my journey. Out of all persons, they chose me. It will help me to be motivated. I am excited to attend that school where I will be able to play a lot of games. It will actually give me the exposure I need to become a WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) player,” Smith said.

Currently, there is just one Bahamian playing in the WNBA and that is the league’s current Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones. Smith said that is one of her goals.

While at IMG, she will be coached by Shell Dailey who is the head coach for the girls team. Smith, a combo guard, said she wants to play National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball and then go on to the WNBA. One of the players she looks up to in the WNBA is Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, IMG Academy has created its women in sports committee and has awarded six full scholarships to student-athletes. The program launched on Monday. The committee consists of well-known women in sports Cari Champion, Dany Garcia, Lindsay Davenport, Lindsey Vonn, Michele Tafoya and Robin Roberts. The scholarship program starts in the 2022 Fall Semester.

Roberts, who is the anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America and a former sportscaster on ESPN for many years, selected Smith for the full scholarship. She will be Smith’s mentor.

“It is motivational,” Smith said about Roberts choosing her. “Out of all the candidates, she chose me. I cannot let her down. I have to work harder.”

Smith had to submit a video saying why she felt she deserved the scholarship. After a two-month wait she got the news that the application was successful. Azariah is the daughter of Luther and Raygail Smith. Mother Raygail Smith said she is ecstatic that the committee chose her daughter for one of the six spots.

“I am very thankful to God for granting her the opportunity,” Raygail said. “Thank you to Roberts and the WISC at IMG. My daughter is very dedicated and well-deserving of this scholarship. It’s truly a blessing to see her dreams coming true, all by God’s grace.”

The 14-year-old was at IMG last year summer for a three-week basketball camp. She will complete grades 10-12 at IMG Academy. Azariah Smith first played basketball at the age of nine when she was in grade five, and one year later, she took a serious liking to the sport and now is preparing to immerse herself in the sport while receiving an education.

The 5’3” player was not able to play any high school basketball since the local program was shut down for the past two years due to the threat of COVID-19. However, she was able to play for a basketball club, the Lucayans, in Orlando, Florida.

“I did not get to play that much. It helped me realize my love for basketball because I have been away from it for so long,” she said. “It didn’t fully stop me as I went outside and played in my front yard, so I stayed motivated.”

While at IMG, Smith is hoping to work mostly on her ball-handling. She said she loves to shoot and share the rock as well.

The other five young ladies received scholarships for golf, track and field, lacrosse, tennis and basketball. Smith is one of two international students to receive the scholarship – the other hails from Venezuela.

The Bahamas beaten by the DR

 Home|Sports|The Bahamas beaten by the DRSports

Sheldon LongleySend an emailJune 21, 2022 219 1 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

The Bahamas showed a lot more fight on Monday, but suffered a similar fate, falling to the Dominican Republic (DR) as the FIBA Americas Under-15 (U15) Centrobasket Championships continued at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

After trailing by as many as 21 points in the game, The Bahamas battled back to get to within single digits in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t keep the momentum going, and the DR won 70-59.

The team is coming off a weekend in which they lost 107-42 to the host country on Saturday and 99-49 to Mexico on Sunday. They will play Costa Rica today and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday.

Against the DR, Noah Bain led The Bahamas in scoring with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Desmond Hall added 12 on 5-for-18 shooting but was just 1-for-9 from three-point range. Joshua Williams and Bradleon McDonald contributed 10 points apiece.

Richard Jefferson Fernández paced the DR with a game-high 28 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He was lethal from downtown, shooting nearly 50 percent as he connected on 6-of-13 shots. Fernández was the only player in double figures for the DR. Joskarlyn Sambo was their next highest scorer with seven.

Overall, the DR shot 41.2 percent from the floor, connecting on 28-of-68 shots while The Bahamas was at 34.2 percent, making 27-of-79 shots. The Bahamas was putrid from three-point range, making just four of 25 shots from that distance, the DR shot 9-for-24 from three-point range.

The DR took their biggest lead of the game on a layup from Welbinson Gomez at the 8:20 mark of the third quarter as they led 44-23 at that point.

The Bahamas battled back, going on a 13-4 scoring run to pull to within 48-36 with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter. They eventually got to within 10 at the end of three but could get no closer than nine points in the fourth and final period.

The FIBA (International Basketball Federation)-sanctioned single round-robin tournament wraps up on Wednesday.