Yolett McPhee-McCuin calls on govt to ‘take special interest in all sports’
It was a bittersweet discovery for Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin.
In a recent online post, ‘Coach Yo’ acknowledged “mixed feelings” when she found out, officially, that Jonquel Jones had been given citizenship status in Bosnia-Herzegovina of southeastern Europe, and will join that country’s national basketball squad.
The noted female basketball mentor, who hails from Freeport, Grand Bahama, is now one of the highest profiled coaches in the United States, as head of the University of Mississippi Women’s basketball program. Coach Yo is the official Bahamian National Women’s Coach as well. Jones played for her and The Bahamas previously in the Caribbean Basketball Championships (CBC).
That is not likely to happen in the near future. On Friday, Jones released a statement directed to The Bahamian people and emphasized still being a proud native of this country, although she will be playing for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Subsequently, Coach Yo released her post.
It follows: “Yesterday (Thursday) as the news broke I definitely had mixed emotions. On one end, I am excited that Jonquel Jones has an opportunity to secure herself financially on a pro level basis. I am proud that a woman can be fairly compensated for the work she has put in.
“On another hand, I am saddened by the fact that we lose, in my opinion, our best talent due to lack of support. I am asking the Bahamian government to take special interest in all sports. Bahamians are talented people who will continue to break ceilings. There will be another Jonquel, another DeAndre Ayton. There will be another!
“I suggest that we start from the grassroots level. Build these young females up. Integrate training, legitimate training, so that the investment is being made from the young stage. I have and I am willing to contribute, to do my part, but there are too many people who have their own personal motives that continue to hold this country back!
“As the (women’s) national team coach, we have to now go to war without our best player!
“This is not the trend we want in The Bahamas. I hope this (Jones’ decision) serves as a wake-up call for those involved and I wish JJ the best in her next step to greatness.”
Understandably, Coach Yo is passionate about the situation in general, and laments limited financial attention given to those within the national sports fraternity by the government of The Bahamas.
Like Jones, Coach Yo was introduced to the sport through the HOYTES program, founded by her father and first coach, Gladstone “Moon” McPhee.
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