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Albury, Edgecombe shine in AAU showcase

Bahamian junior level basketball players Deyton Albury and Garreth Edgecombe had a respectable showing in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball this past weekend, playing at the Queen City Showcase presented by Phenom Hoops at the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Albury and Edgecombe, who were once teammates at Temple Christian (TC) School here in New Providence, suited up for the Defenders 2020 team, which was coached by their former coach at TC Jammal Smith. The trio teamed up for three wins and had one loss.

Over the four games, Edgecombe finished with averages of 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds to go along with a 39 percent clip shooting from three-point territory. Albury finished the tournament averaging 16.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. On the defensive side, he finished with 2.5 blocks and 3.0 steals per game.

After dropping their first game, the Defenders 2020 regrouped and won their next three games to finish with a 3-1 win/loss record. Their one loss came against the Anthony Morrow Elite, falling 78-61.

“They had a productive weekend playing against NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) prospects for the most part. A lot of coaches were able to see them. They showed strength and had good performances,” Smith said of Edgecombe and Albury.

In their second game, they defeated the Capital City Pacers, 81-72. In the third game, they won 83-55 over the Charlotte Nets. On Sunday, they eked out with a victory over the Cobras, 78-76.

Edgecombe got adjusted to playing small forward for the Defenders 2020 team.

“The tournaments that I have been playing in helped a lot as I transitioned from a big man to a wing player. With me being the three (small forward) on the team, that allowed me to score the ball more efficiently from the three-point line and attack the basket,” Edgecombe said.

Albury had a strong game in their final game of the showcase as he finished with a triple double of 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. At the end of regulation with the game tied at 76, Albury hit two free throws to give his team the 78-76 victory.

“It was a good weekend. We had some good competition and played some competitive basketball. It was another weekend to get a feel of the team and to get our legs under us,” the guard said. “I played in a way to impact the team and come out with a win as much as possible, whether scoring, passing, rebounding or playing good defense.”

Albury won the Player of the Game award in two of the four games.

Looking forward to next week, Albury hopes to continue to play his role on the team and help them to come away with a winning record.

For Edgecombe, he knows that there is still a lot more work to be done but feels he is improving with every tournament and showcase.

It has been a challenge playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Smith.

“Most teams are not allowed in the gym until your game is actually happening, maybe 15-20 minutes prior. You have to wear a mask when you are coaching and before a player checks into a game they have to use hand sanitizers. They also disinfect everything, and it is a different process. When you leave and come back to the gym, they check your temperature. There are also a lot of waiver forms to sign, protecting the tournament directors from any liability for COVID-19. It has been a lot of adjustment off the court with the logistics but on the court you do not see a major drop off in how the teams compete, and how the coaches prepare for each game,” Smith said.

Smith hopes that basketball leagues in The Bahamas have the proper protocols in place before resuming their respective seasons, especially the school leagues.

The trio returns to the court this coming weekend when they play at the same location in the Phenom Challenge.

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