#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#Through the assistance of the Darrell Sears Basketball Showcase, Grand Bahamian point guard Joanna Munroe has secured a scholarship to attend Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas, in August.
#The 19-year-old former St George’s Jaguars standout signed the deal last week as she completed her final year of high school at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas.
#“I took a visit there and I liked the coaching staff and everything,” said Munroe in making her final selection after going through a number of offers she received. “I thought it would be a good place for me.”
#As a business major, the 5-foot, 4-inch Munroe said she felt good about her transition from playing basketball in the Bahamas to playing in the United States.
#“This is my second year in the US. Last year, I was in North Carolina but this year I’m at Sunrise Academy in Kansas, so it’s been good,” pointed out Munroe, who averaged about eight points and four assists per game. “I had a lot of offers this year.”
#On her visit to Coffeyville, Munroe said she got the assurance from the coaching staff, headed by Tony Turner, that she can come in and make an impact immediately on the Red Ravens women’s basketball team.
#“They say they like my game, so I can fit in and I’m quick, which is what they also liked,” she stated. “I also saw them play, so I like what I saw. I know I can fit in.”
#Sears, one of the top high school coaches in the Bahamas, said Munroe showed a lot of promise for a long time and now she’s reaping the rewards of her hard labour.
#“We don’t really deal with girls basketball, but we try to help anyone who has some talent,” Sears said. “Mrs Stephanie Higgs was head of the Athletic Department at the time at St George’s and she directed Joanna to us and we sent her off to school in North Carolina first.
#“She finished her last year in high school this year at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. She’s always been a talented young kid, but her size was always her issue. She’s very small, but she’s very talented on the court. I just knew that someone there would have appreciated her talent and given her opportunity to go to college.”
#He congratulated Munroe for her ability to get a collegiate scholarship, but more importantly, he said he hopes that she will excel to the point that she can obtain her degree.
#Still actively involved in the coaching of the St George’s senior boys basketball team, Sears said his goal, through his basketball showcase, is to provide an avenue for as many Bahamians as possible to complete their high school in the United States or go directly to college.
#“We have at least five more Bahamians in high school, just waiting to complete their eligibility and hopefully sign on for athletic scholarships to college or university,” he said.
#“I don’t pay attention as much as I used to, but I know that there are also a number of young girls in Grand Bahama who have the potential to play at the next level.”
#He noted that St George’s was doing very well in the last four years since taking over the reigns from the Catholic High Crusaders and the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons.
#To other Bahamians, who would like to follow in her footsteps, Munroe advised them to take their dream alive.
#“Keep working hard and keep God first,” she lamented.
#As a result of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Munroe was unable to leave Kansas to return to Grand Bahama. But she’s making the best of her situation as she copes with the rules and regulations in her state.
#“We have about 30 cases here so far, but luckily for us, we can still use the basketball gym at school,” she said. “But we can only go from here (gym) and back home.”
#Fortunately for Munroe, she resides about two minutes away from the gym, so she’s not affected by the curfew rules applied.
#“I’m just practicing right now, training and working on my weaknesses,” she stressed.
#To the Bahamian people, especially those in Grand Bahama who are still trying to deal with the after effects of Hurricane Dorian from last year, Munroe encouraged them to stay safe as possible.
#“Just listen to the government and just prepare yourself. There’s nothing more that you can do,” she said.
#“It’s rough, but you just have to hope for the best as we move forward.”
#Munoe is the daughter of Valisha Johnson and Johley. She has a sister and two brothers. None of them played any sport or were afforded the opportunity to attend college.
#She’s breaking new grounds for her family at Coffeyville Community College.