Jamaica’s Women’s basketball team received a welcome cash boost on Saturday as they continue preparations for the Caribbean Basketball Championship set to tip off in Cuba on July 13.

Former Tennessee Wildcats player, Nicholai Brown, was on Saturday selected as the number-one draft pick for the P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League set to begin in August. P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy was founded by former basketball player Wayne Dawkins in Canada in 1993 and for the past 25 years has been organising and hosting basketball leagues and tournaments in Canada, the USA and Africa.

Brown, a 28-year-old power forward, selected by Team Red, was among the 20 local and overseas-based Jamaican players that were available for the draft and who will play in the league to be played at the National Arena from August 13-20 and will inaugurate the Fall professional season that is set to begin in October.

“It feels great, to be honest. It’s my first time experiencing all of this and having the support feels really great,” said Brown, who has previously played in Texas at Trinity Valley Community College and at Lindsay Wilson College in Kentucky.

“I just want to play ball to the best of my ability and compete against great players.”

The second player selected in the draft was David Gordon, who will play for Team Blue while Lushane Wilson was the third player selected overall and first for Team White. Nadjrick White was the first pick for Team Black.

During the second round, Dave Black was selected by Team Blue, Nick-Caro Golding was selected by Team White, Joel Bailey was picked by Team Black and O’Wayne Lawrence was chosen by Team Red.

The third round of the draft saw D’Andre Forbes being selected by Team White, Daniel Martillier going to Team Black, Anthony White selected by Team Red and Jaedon Lawe picked up by Team Blue. In Round Four, Team Black selected Derjean Royal, Kasheef Clarke headed to Team Read, Patrick Robinson went to Team Blue and Roman Parkes was picked by Team White.

Antjuan McFarlane went to Team Red, Adeeb Vernon was picked by Team Blue, Alex Levy was selected by Team White while Calvin Malcolm headed to Team Black in the fifth and final round of the draft that Jamaica Basketball Association President Paulton Gordon hopes will be the first of many in the years ahead.

“This is the first of a long-term plan,” he said.

“We want to use this opportunity to get more eyes on basketball and showcase the sport. As we all know unless there is prominence we don’t get the traction that we need because invariably what we want to do is to ensure that the base is good and we want to get the eyes on basketball and get the players playing.

“We want to transition from this into the NBL in October/November and then complete that period with another showcase after the NBL season.”

Gordon explained that the pro/am tournament that will have matches on August 13, 14, 17 and 20, will also see other players of Jamaican heritage joining the draftees in competition.

“We have actually invited some of the Jamaicans who are in colleges overseas to participate and we have some budding pros seeking jobs in Europe and Central America, who will be here,” he said.

JABA will be partnering with P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy and Ribbiz to host the tournament and Gordon revealed that several other potential partners could be coming on board in the coming days.

“We are speaking with a few others who will get involved,” he said. “There are some investors out of Canada, who support P.H.A.S.E 1, who are pretty sold on it and have contributed.”

 Meanwhile, Wayne Dawkins, founder and CEO of P.H.A.S.E 1, said he was pleased with the quality of the players selected for the draft.

"We are excited about the group of players who were selected. These are players with the national team and professional experience and people with strong resumes, and players with strong playing experience is exactly what we need to get the E1CBL started off," he said.

"These players will set a very high bar for where we want to take the league." 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica’s basketball community is mourning the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, who died early Thursday morning in Florida at the age of 64.

Suffering from late-stage cancer, Sterling-Angus was on life support in a Forida hospital up until Wednesday evening when she was taken off and transitioned mere hours later leaving a massive void in Jamaica’s basketball fraternity.

For more than three decades, Sterling-Angus gave yeoman service to the sport was introduced to by chance but which she grew to love.

“I stumbled on the sport while in high school over 30 years ago. I was hanging around the stadium courts one afternoon after playing in a netball tournament there, and a friend who was a member of the Aqua Youth Swim Club invited me to join her at the Stadium pools,” she said during an interview in 2016.

“Later that evening we went back to the netball/basketball courts where the Aqua men’s team was playing in the Berger Paint league game, which is now called the National Basketball League (NBL), and I’ve been hooked ever since then.

“Ironically, I’m still not a swimmer; in fact, I’m still petrified of large pools of water. And even though I no longer reside in Jamaica, I still support the organization because I believe in their objective, which ultimately is to empower our youngsters by providing academic and athletic opportunities through scholarship.”

And support she did. She was a past vice president of overseas operations for the Jamaica Basketball Association and worked tirelessly behind the scenes providing support for Jamaica’s men’s and women’s teams.

AS a project manager for JABA, she handled logistics and planning for national teams and identified players for all national levels. She also funded national teams and youth-team initiatives and helped create scholarship opportunities for both male and female players including players like netball turned basketball player Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson, who once held the record of being the tallest teenager in the world.

Her death leaves a void within the fraternity, said JABA President Paulton Gordon.

“The Jamaica basketball community is indeed saddened by the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, a longstanding advocate and supporter of the development of basketball in Jamaica,” Gordon told Sportsmax.TV on Thursday.

“Enid was a passionate soul who loved the game and endeavoured to create platforms for our young people to access opportunities based on their God-given talent. She served as one of the overseas liaison between Jamaica basketball and key stakeholders at the FIBA and diaspora levels and was always integral in clarifying policy, rules and processes when our teams are involved in regional or international competitions.

“Enid will be sadly missed and the Jamaica basketball association uses this medium to express our deepest condolences to her immediate family and friends.”

Ajani Williams, who was JABA president between 2009 and 2014, said Enid’s impact on Jamaica’s basketball was iconic.

“Enid Angus is the definition of love of people through sport. She emptied herself in pursuit of advancing the lives of young Jamaican students and national team athletes, male and female, she squeezed every bit of the juice out of the orange for national progress through basketball,” he said.

“An African proverb says when an elder transitions a library goes with them and this is indicative of Enid’s passing. This is a big loss to basketball in Jamaica and, personally, without Enid by my side, many of the national team successes we achieved would not have happened- she is forever a teammate.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Jamaica were CARICOM Champions in 2009 and were the bronze medallists in 2011. The team won the bronze medal at the Centro Basketball Tournament in 2012, the first time Jamaica was achieving top-four, which meant they qualified for the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

In 2013, at the FIBA Tournament of the Americas, Jamaica defeated the number nine ranked Brazil and the number-three ranked Argentina and just missed out on qualifying for the World Championships.

“The foundation of all of that was aided and supported by Enid,” Williams said.

In addition to her support of the JABA, Enid was a mentor to many Jamaican players like Kimani Ffriend, who played in the NBA and in Europe, winning the MVP title in the Serbian League in 2017. News of her passing was devastating.

“We lost a beautiful soul this morning. Enid, thank you for your warm spirit and beautiful heart,” he said in a post on social media.

“Never told me no. Always there to support me and encourage me during my toughest times. Many don’t know the sacrifices that you have made to help put Jamaica basketball on the map and the countless high school, college and pro players you have helped and identified along the way.”

Another former national representative Vashil Fernandez was in disbelief.

“Can’t believe this. Wow,” he posted while commenting on Ffriend’s post.

Meanwhile, former Women’s coach Oberon Pitterson-Nattie was saddened by the news.

“Sad to know she is no longer with it. She worked tirelessly for Jamaica basketball. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.”

Sterling Angus is survived by her three children, Martin, Terry and Donielle.

 

 

 

 

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