JOSHUA Dames and Bradley Lightbourne.
#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#JOSHUA Dames and Bradley Lightbourne became the latest Bahamian basketball talents to announce their intention to join programmes at the Junior College level.
#The seniors out of British Columbia Christian Prep Panthers signed their letters of intent to join the Midland College Chaparrals in Midland, Texas.
#The Chaparrals finished the 2019-20 season 11-19 overall and in eighth-place in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference with a 4-12 mark. They lost 10 of its last 11 games and missed out on the NJCAA Region V Tournament for the ninth straight year.
#The duo were two of three Panthers players to sign their letters of intent at the school’s official ceremony on Saturday in British Columbia, Canada.
#This past season, Dames, a 6’2” combo guard, averaged 18 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 steals and two assists per game while shooting 63 percent from the field and 34 percent from three point range. Dames scored more than 30 points in at least eight games and had six games with at least six three pointers.
#“I just felt like [Midland] was the best fit for me in terms of growth, for me as a player to continue my basketball journey,” Dames said, “I feel like the Panthers and coach Doug Dowell have done a tremendous job in terms of my development in these past few months. It’s just been a tremendous journey and a blessing for me and my family.
#It has helped me to take my basketball game to just a totally different level. Knowing how to use my emotion, being a composed basketball player, and being able to compete at the highest level has been tremendous for me.”
#Dames, the former Tabernacle Baptist Falcon, and junior national team standout said the next step on his basketball and athletic journey can be attributed to his foundation on and off the court.
#He also received an offer from University of South Carolina State Bulldogs an NCAA Division I programme in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
#Lightbourne, in his lone season with the Panthers, averaged 12 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 55 percent from the field.
#The Harbour Island native attended Gateway Christian Academy in Bimini prior to his transition to Canada.
#“Coming from a small island I didn’t know I would make it this far to be honest,” he said, “I’d like to thank Panther Hoops for training me and bringing me this far and I’ll also like to thank Mr [Gilbert] Rolle from the community for helping me to become a better person off the court.”
#Panthers Athletic Director and boys basketball head coach, Doug Dowell, said the programme valued their time with both players and looks ahead to continued success in their careers.
#“It’s been a real pleasure having these guys. It’s been great watching them grow up as players everyday, what a tremendous blessing. I feel like I’m part Bahamian now after having so many of you guys come from the islands and be a part of this BC Christian family.
#For you coaches at Midland, don’t let them sing together, because you will never get practice done,” Dowell said.
#The Bahamian connection with the Panthers continued this past season as the programme establishes itself as a pipeline for local talent. Alongside Dames and Lightbourne the Panthers roster also included D’Ante Dean and Kendrick Russell. Other Bahamian alumni include Sammy Hunter, Detarrio Thompson and Leroy Adderley.
#“I wanted to have Joshua with us two years ago.
#He would have been a missing piece for our squad,” Dowell said,
#“Bradley came here and had to make a big adjustment. He’s done a tremendous job and has been one of the most enjoyable kids to coach. I look forward to watching Bradley and I think he is going to make big strides in college play. Hopefully his academics will continue to improve and he will become a division I player at some point.”
#BC Christian Prep is a Club Program that is designed to have the top players from BC, Canada and around the world come to one destination and train daily with each other so that they can glean from the competitive atmosphere and become better players. BC Christian Prep also provides top-level Canadian and American game schedules that will enhance the exposure of our players to top CIS, NAIA, NJCCA, and NCAA programmes.
#“The Bahamians are a great fit for our program as we are a Christian School and Program so most of the kids from Nassau and Freeport already have that foundation coming in. So the biggest challenge has been the distance and my ability to get there to watch them live,” Dowell said, “I believe the biggest thing that helps these boys is the competitive environment they are in. The acceptance of nothing less than excellence forces them to improve their game in order to play. We are really hard on the guys about their understanding of how the game is played and how to take advantage of defensive mistakes and weaknesses. They become more efficient and learn to play the game more effectively not just depending on their athleticism.”