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I-Recruit to host third baseball showcase

Baseball in The Bahamas has drawn a lot of attention from the international community in recent times, and I-Recruit Athletic and Academic College Recruiting will continue the renaissance that is expected to transform the sport locally. The Bahamas has become a hotbed for baseball talent, now with over 20 young men playing professionally.

I-Recruit along with Sherwin-Williams Paints will be hosting a baseball showcase at Pinewood Park on Saturday May 4, starting at 9 a.m., under the observation of Next Letter of Intent (NLI) scouting agency. It will be hosted by local coaches Geron Sands and Albert Cartwright of International Elite (I-Elite) Sports Academy.

NLI was in Nassau hosting similar showcases in October and December of last year, and just under 100 young enthusiastic baseball players took part, looking to get a chance to get a scholarship to play collegiate baseball.

Sherwin-Williams has already stated its intention to give a full scholarship to the player that is most-deserving at this Saturday’s showcase. The presentation will be made during the opening of the new Sherwin-Williams Paints store on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway on Thursday May 9.

So far, chief organizer Kim Sweeting of NLI said players from Long Island, Spanish Wells and Grand Bahama have registered.

Sweeting said that there are also about 15 players from each of the two major baseball leagues in New Providence – the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) and the Freedom Farm Baseball League (FFBL).

She wants to get more and more Bahamians involved in the showcase as time goes on.

“I got a call a couple of months ago from Axel Maldonado, the international director of Sherwin-Williams. They saw what was going on and they wanted to sponsor us. He is flying in on Friday and will be bringing gifts for all of the players,” said Sweeting.

It was originally the intention of NLI to stage the showcase at JBLN’s Field of Dreams Complex, but said Sherwin-Williams wants it to be more community oriented. Also, I-Recruit and I-Elite frequently utilizes Pinewood Park.

Sherwin-Williams will also donate 25 gallons of paint, along with primer and paint brushes, to decorate the bleachers and dugouts at Pinewood Park.

At last year’s showcases, the coaches were mainly focused on players finishing high school this year. However, college coaches have told Sweeting, a college recruiter, that they want to also look at younger players in schools in The Bahamas.

“Last year we did the ones who were getting ready to graduate high school in 2019 and a year before that. We are doing players younger than that because the colleges demand that,” said Sweeting. “They want to look at kids younger so we are starting at 2020s, 2021s and 2022s (graduation years). For three years you can be eligible to be an athlete placed in college.”

The local leagues have been supportive of the showcase and the parents have been excited about it. The showcase is growing rapidly, and recently, assisted in two players being recruited by collegiate teams.

Mateo Ferguson has committed to the Dyersburg State Community College Eagles in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Outfielder and pitcher Tyler Kemp has committed to the Prince George’s Community College Owls in Largo, Maryland.

Sweeting understands that leagues are in playoff mode, but added that Sherwin-Williams wanted to do the showcase in order to present the scholarship at their new store opening next week.

Saturday’s event is expected to be a family affair. There will be a souse-out ran concurrently, and a bouncing castle for the kids.

Sweeting is appealing to other businesses and Bahamian professional players to get on board and give back to the players who deserve a chance.

They are looking for players with speed on the basepath, good exit velocity from either the infield or the outfield, and a good eye for the ball.

The cost to register is $25 per athlete and the deadline is tomorrow. There is no guarantee that athletes will be ale to registering on Saturday. Players can register at the Pinewood Park from 2-5 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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