Kent Wood seizes opportunity to play professional basketball
Bahamian Kent Wood, 24, is about to realize his dream to play professional basketball.
On Monday of this week, the Winter Park Storm of the Florida Basketball Association (FBA) communicated the good news that he had been selected from the training combine and named to the roster for the upcoming season, Wood informed. Barry Mestel is the head coach for the Storm.
Also, according to Wood, the FBA is the ideal platform that leads to competition on a higher professional level.
The FBA is a semi-pro league which showcases teams from Orlando, Lake Wales and the Palm Beach Garden areas in Florida. The FBA was founded in 2012, is associated with FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Americas and has seven teams. The defending champions are the Palm Beach Knights. The league commissioner is Greg Kite who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1983 to 1995 for the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers.
Mestel’s FBA bio touts him as a noted basketball figure.
On the FBA website, it stated: “Mestel, who has spent a time as an NBA and WNBA scout, brings a wealth of experience to the Storm. Through his Winning Ways Pro International (WWPI) organization, Mestel and his staff have helped hundreds of players advance their careers and secure professional playing opportunities internationally. Through the Storm and the FBA, he sees an opportunity to further build upon those numbers.”
The Storm head coach has expressed his satisfaction in becoming a part of the FBA.
“The FBA has proven to be a top minor league system that does exactly what its’s supposed to do. Basketball has long needed a sustainable, consistent platform that gives players a place to play, the knowledge to improve as professionals and the resources that teams abroad need to consider signing import players. The FBA builds teams that follow such a plan, and I’m excited to build a team of players for the Storm that can believe that,” said Mestel, according to the FBA website.
The situation is ripe for Wood. He played basketball in high school (St. Augustine’s College in Nassau, The Bahamas) but saw very little actual game competition at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Wood trains at the Better Every Day facility in Orlando, Florida, with Trevor Anderson and Bo Outlaw.
“I was unable to receive an athletic scholarship to compete on the collegiate scene in basketball. However, basketball being my passion, I persevered and have been in Orlando, Florida, practicing, training and learning alongside both amateurs and professionals in the off-season while I attended UCF.
“During my time at the University of Central Florida, I was given the opportunity after a subsequent tryout, to play on the scouting team daily in practice as well as to use the training gym and (other) facilities. With this wealth of basketball knowledge all around me, I formed aspirations of one day playing basketball professionally.
“I have been blessed with the opportunities to train with the NBA (National Basketball Association), NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and Euro-league coaches, strength and conditioning trainers and players in places such as Texas, Spud Webb, Los Angeles (Byron Scott and Thomas Scott) and Orlando (Bo Outlaw and Grant Hill),” informed Wood.
Wood pursues his basketball goal with an intensity to be fully appreciated, but has the quality option of a Bachelor of Science Degree in sports and exercise science. Thus, when the professional playing appetite has been appeased, Wood would be able to continue his life journey, with a strong sports focus.
The young Bahamian has certainly proven to be a study in resilience and determination. He is the son of Kenneth “Chest” Wood and Debra Wood.
Best wishes in the FBA and beyond Kent!
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address email@example.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.
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