Friday, Feb 21, 2020
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Jonquel Jones to explain  Bosnia connection soon

Jonquel Jones, the Grand Bahama native out of the modest Holmes Rock community in the western part of the island, departed her home base on Thursday, on the way, through the United States, to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the nation that has granted her citizenship status.

The news became official for the first time to many Bahamians only when they digested Sports Scope on Thursday. In Grand Bahama, the Jonquel Jones development quickly got to be a hot topic. According to various online chat forums, such was the case throughout the country as well.

Jones would be happy to know that for the most part, Bahamians have been quite understanding. Generally, the view is that she is entitled to accept citizenship status in Bosnia-Herzegovina, thus making her eligible to play for that nation, maximizing her earning potential, and (the huge factor of course) gaining financial stability for years to come.

Still, the suddenness of the situation exploded across the national sports fraternity and the big question being asked was: ‘Who will be next?’

Yes indeed, which of the Bahamian mega sports stars will switch nations for a competitive purpose, guaranteed financial security, state of the art training facilities, high quality trainers, free services of medical and health personnel, endorsements and other perks?

The truth be told, such track sensations as Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner, who are in their prime, are ‘on the bubble’ items as far as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is concerned. Without a doubt, they are at high risks to be recruited, as was Jones. Whether they will walk the route Jones has, is very much up in the air.

It figures though, that noting what has happened in the case of Jonquel Jones, recognizing her improved financial options, automatically, other Bahamian athletes must be doing a lot of contemplating at this time.

The 6’ 6” center/forward, a proven superstar at every professional level in the last three years (Women’s National Basketball Association -WNBA, and leagues in South Korea and China), has opened a door.

With her decision, Jones has perhaps inadvertently put a lot of pressure on Bahamian central administrations to pay more financially-meaningful attention to the national sports fraternity and those valiant and productive souls who have crafted a mighty little sports nation.

Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee – the basketball mentor who developed her skills during her early years in his camp – on Thursday sent a message to his HOYTES Foundation members. It follows:

“Good day HOYTES Family. We are in the news again. A young lady who is a HOYTES product has made a decision to play basketball for another country. Jonquel Jones, who just spent a day with the HOYTES kids a few weeks ago at the park, has not left us. HOYTES campers, do not rush to judgment. She is an inspiration and until she comes back and meets with you, remember our motto for this year ‘Big Dreams Only Let Us Continue the Hard Work.’ The coach loves you all.”

Continued best wishes to Jonquel!

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363).

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