Burrows secures Sherwin-Williams baseball scholarship
Brent Burrows, out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, was awarded a scholarship from the Sherwin-Williams Paint store on Thursday, at the new Sherwin-Williams Paint store location on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Burrows was chosen over 60 other young baseball enthusiasts at a baseball showcase put on by I-Recruit and organized by Kimberly Sweeting last week Saturday. They were under the watchful eyes of Next Letter of Intent (NLI) scouts at the Pinewood Baseball Park.
The young infielder was all smiles on Thursday as he waited to receive his check from Sherwin-Williams.
“I am happy for the scholarship because this is my first step toward the rest of my baseball life. I want to thank Coach Geron Sands for inviting me out to the showcase. I also want to thank NLI for assisting me with this,” Burrows said.
Fran and Alicia Burrows, his father and mother, were on hand to share in their son’s accomplishment. His mother was also excited.
“It’s a good opportunity that we don’t have to find all that money for college. I pray that he even goes further with it because he wants to go into professional ball. Education is key and you should get it before you think about anything else,” Alicia Burrows said.
Sherwin-Williams General Manager Reto Giovanoli said it was their intention to make a donation to the Bahamian baseball community after seeing the conditions that some of the players were training in.
“When we went to assess the conditions that the players were practicing in, those conditions were not great but they were still producing top athletes to go over to the states – I was amazed and shocked. When we were able to give back and give another student a chance, that is good because we see the results. We see that Jazz Chisholm is doing well and there are another two or three of them who came back for the summer and still practicing. We are just happy to give the kids something,” Giovanoli said.
NLI Co-Founder and National Director of Scouting Chris Hunt said that it was a difficult process because there were about 8-10 athletes who were deserving of the scholarship. He feels they made the right choice with Burrows. They said it was his strength and ability to play good defense for his size that impressed them the most.
When Hunt goes back to the United States, he said, he will create a profile of Burrows to complete the recruiting process.
The 10th grade student of Bishop Michael Eldon School said he has been involved with the sport of baseball since age two, and from watching older brother Emery Burrows excel in the sport, he decided to continue playing.
“My other son played on the field and Brent couldn’t play ball. I just couldn’t get him to play ball. When they put him on the field, he would cry. One day he was on the first and caught the ball. The coach put him on the field and from there that was it,” Alicia Burrows said.
Currently, Brent Burrows plays for the Piranhas out of Grand Bahama. He is coached by Orville Saint. He said that he plans to move to New Providence to train with coaches Sands and Albert Cartwright.
For Hunt, this is his third trip over the last 12 months to The Bahamas, teaming up with I-Recruit to scout athletes for college recruiting.
“We had the same number of kids this time as we did at the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) in December when we had our last showcase here, 65-66. There were more projectable players this time than in December – players with an ability to play college baseball. The speed of the athletes here is unbelievable. One kid ran a 6.25 seconds 60-yard dash which is unheard of. Their speed and twitchiness stood out the most from the showcase,” said Hunt.
Giovanoli said: “I-Recruit was very important because they are the ones that connect The Bahamas to the world of baseball. They put on a great event. They host and bring people in to see some of these kids. They give great training tips. If it was not for I-Recruit, no one would know about these kids. They allow the world to see these kids.”
Sherwin-Williams rebranded the park as they painted the dugout and the bleachers. They also gave out T-shirts and hats to the players.