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Sports minister encourages Young to continue to give back

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Bahamian professional baseball player Chavez Young, with the Toronto Blue Jays organization of Major League Baseball (MLB), paid a courtesy call on Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle during her recent visit to Grand Bahama.

Minister Rolle welcomed Young and his father, Clayton Young, at the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday, during which time Minister Rolle announced her ministry’s intention to initiate the Athletic Ambassador Program to encourage the support, representation and ongoing interaction of Bahamian-born and bred athletes.

“I am told that Chavez has set out to give back to the community of Grand Bahama by assisting young, upcoming Bahamian baseball players by providing a positive influence and motivation for those who aspire to pursue athletic career paths,” said Rolle.

Young’s journey began in the nation’s second city — Freeport, Grand Bahama. Through rigorous training and discipline, under the guidance of his parents, Clayton and Marinetta Young; local coaches; former Bahamian athletes and other facility councilors; coupled with his early preparation as a member of the Jack Hayward High School Wildcats track club and basketball team, Young learned the importance of teamwork.

“Through these experiences, he developed his aspiration to become a professional athlete,” said the minister.

Young is an outfielder/designated hitter, who was taken in the 39th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the Blue Jays. He was drafted straight out of high school in the United States. Young attended Faith Baptist Academy in Ludowici, Georgia.

Young said that he has some big plans in store to help bring professional baseball to Grand Bahama, his hometown. He said he wants to give those youngsters who may be interested in the sport an opportunity that he did not have when he first started in the game, and that is a chance to be seen and receive advice from professional baseball players. Within his plans, Young is proposing a baseball camp for youngsters between the ages of seven and 16 and he also wants to host an all-star, celebrity baseball game that would not only bring pro baseball athletes to Grand Bahama, but celebrities as well.

“We recognize and applaud Chavez Young for his efforts to give back to the community that helped raised him,” said Minister Rolle. “It is always a pleasure to see Bahamians use their success and platforms to empower other Bahamians to do the same. I wish you all the best in the coming baseball season and in your athletic career. Continue to excel, remain humble and know that The Bahamas is cheering you on.”

Young and the Lansing Lugnuts, an affiliate of the Blue Jays, lost in the Eastern Division semifinals of the Class-A Midwest League in Minor League Baseball this past season. Young hit .285 this past season with eight home runs and 57 RBIs. He had 134 hits, including 50 extra base hits, and stole 44 bases while only being caught 13 times.

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