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The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Male Athlete of the Year

For Chavano “Buddy” Hield’s legendary run at the University of Oklahoma, which resulted in him being picked sixth in this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, combined with the impact the Grand Bahama native has had on the sport of basketball locally, he was unanimously selected as The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Male Athlete of the Year with 30 points.

Hield became a household name during the 2015-16 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season, dazzling coaches and fans alike with his long–range shooting, and his will to win on a nightly basis.

The 6’4” wingman averaged 25 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a senior. He left college as the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer and the Sooners second best scorer of all-time. For his efforts, he received numerous end-of-season awards, including the ESPY Award for Best Male College Athlete, the James A. Naismith Trophy as the nation’s top college player, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Wooden Award.

He was also named as the Sporting News and CBS Sports’ Player of the Year.

Hield’s senior season was highlighted by a 46-point eruption in a triple over time loss to Kansas on January 4. He followed that up the next game with a 31-point performance in an 86-76 win over Kansas State.

Hield’s storied collegiate career launched him into the lottery of the 2016 NBA Draft, where the New Orleans Pelicans selected him.

As a pro, Hield has already scored in double figures in 13 of the Pelicans games so far.

He poured in a career-high 21 points this month in a 102-95 win over the Indiana Pacers. Hield shot 5-8 from behind the three-point line in the game, and also pulled down four rebounds and handed out two assists.

Professional baseball player Jervis “Champ” Stuart finished second behind Hield with 21 points. Stuart continues to rise in the New York Mets organization, and in 2016, he reached several milestones, including an appearance as a pinch runner in the final Grapefruit League game for the Mets in spring training. Stuart also had a phenomenal season with the Port St. Lucie Mets in the Single-A Advanced league, which ultimately led to him being called up to the Double- A League with the Binghamton Mets.

Through 114 games between both leagues, Stuart hit .240 with 34 RBI and eight home runs. He had an on-base percentage of .319, slugging percentage of .349, an OPS of .663 and 40 stolen bases.

‘Champ’ was also one of 10 Bahamian players that competed for Team Great Britain at the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Brooklyn, New York.

During the tournament, he hit .467 with three RBI and 11 total bases.

Chris “The Fireman” Brown finished third in voting for the Nassau Guardian’s Senior Male Athlete of the Year honor with 19 points.

Brown closed out a legendary 16-year career with a ‘gutty’ performance on the final leg for the Bahamian men’s 4×400 meter (m) relay team in the event final at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.

Behind Brown’s split of 44.2 seconds, the team finished third in a season’s best time of 2:58.49. The United States won the gold in a season’s best time of 2:57.30, while Jamaica took silver in a season’s best 2:58.16.

The bronze was Brown’s fourth at the Olympic level- all in the relays.

Moores Island native and Bahamian national record holder in the 400 meters (m) Steven gardiner finished fourth amongst vote getters with 18 points, and high jumper Donald Thomas finished fifth with 17 points.

Gardiner was a part of the men’s 4x400m team that won bronze at the Olympics, while Thomas managed a seventh place finish in the men’s high jump in Rio.

Senior male scores

1st – Chavano “Buddy” Hield (Basketball) – 30 points

2nd – Jervis “Champ” Stuart (Baseball) – 21 points

3rd – Chris Brown (Athletics) – 19 points

4th – Steven Gardiner (Athletics) – 18 points

5th – Donald Thomas (Athletics) – 17 points

6th – Taureano Johnson (Boxing) – 14 points

7th – Lesly St. Fleur (Beach Soccer) – 12 points

8th – Byron Ferguson (Volleyball) – 11 points

9th – Leevan Sands (Athletics) – 7 points

10th – Jamaal Wilson (Athletics) – 5 points

11th – Baker Newman (Tennis) – 3 points

11th – Jimmy Norius (Bodybuilding & Fitness) – 3 points

13th – Meacher Major (Boxing) – 2 points

14th – Prince Wilson (Volleyball) – 1 point

14th – Dustin Tynes (Swimming) – 1 point

14th – Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. (Basketball) – 1 point

Honorable mention: Spencer Newman (Tennis), Shavez Hart (Athletics), Stephen Knowles (Sailing), Gavin Christie (Beach Soccer), Edney Bethel (Softball), Anfernee Seymour (Baseball), Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (Basketball), Benjamin Davis (Golf), Alcott Forbes (Softball) and Sherman “Tank” Williams (Boxing).

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