Able Joseph gives back to community
The Bahamas has produced a cadre of perennial basketball players dating back to the old days, with a lot of them having given back to the game in different forms, and Able Joseph is no different. Joseph and professional basketball player Jaraun “Kino” Burrows are on the ground teaching the game to inner-city children.
Joseph’s “Bringing Ball in the Inner Community” program is geared towards helping student-athletes down the right path.
The camp is hosted every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every other Saturday at the park in Mason’s Addition.
Apart from Burrows, pro-basketball player Dominick Bridgewater is also lending a hand. Bridgewater, who played for the Anatol Rodgers High School Timberwolves in Nassau, is the first Bahamian player to go pro straight out of high school when he inked a deal with the FOS Provence Basketball Byers Club in France at the age of 18.
Joseph said his organization is a non-profit and he is looking for anyone who is willing to assist. His main goal is to keep young people out of trouble because he knows how the game did that for him.
It has afforded him a number of opportunities such as donning the aquamarine, black and gold on his back, a college education and the ability to travel the world.
“My program’s main goal is to keep the youth in the inner community out of gang violence and ideally I want it to be an ongoing program for a year,” said Joseph.
Observing Joseph in action was Mario Bowleg, president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF). Bowleg also coached Joseph when he was a member of the senior men’s national team.
Bowleg was excited to see his two players give back to the community, as one of the pillars of the BBF is to go into the community and support initiatives like this.
“I am pleased, elated and happy to see former national team players like Abel Joseph who grew up and [still] lives in Mason’s Addition starting his development program here on the park,” Bowleg said. “We have a number of kids out here. Coming to assist him after coming home from a long season in the European league is Jaraun ‘Kino’ Burrows. It’s a part of what the federation wants to do, bring basketball back to the community.”
This is not the only park that Bowleg is looking at. He plans to go to a few more parks along with professional and collegiate athletes to work with the children.
Burrows had surgery after re-injuring his ankle this past season and said that he had a lot of time to think on what he wanted to come home to do for the summer. He saw what Joseph was doing and wanted to help him. Burrows also wants to help other groups and programs in continuing to develop the local talent.
“There are thousands more like Bridgewater on these streets. If we do our part to continue to put our resources, efforts and investments into these kids, I think we will do a better job with the young men in The Bahamas, as far as motivating and helping them to accomplish their dreams”, said Burrows.
With more programs and activities like Joseph’s, more talents can be discovered and developed to create more collegiate and professional athletes.
With NBA players like Chavano “Buddy” Hield of the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns’ DeAndre Ayton making it into the league, it can inspire more young players to hone their skills.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism