Albury ruling the gridiron at Sunrise

He is known for his dominance on the hardwood but at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, USA, Bahamian junior national basketball team standout Deyton Albury has put on a show on the gridiron.

Albury sports number 11 on his back while playing the wideout position for the Sunrise Christian Buffaloes varsity football team. The Buffaloes have a 3-3 win-loss record on the season, and all three wins came at home.

In their last outing on Friday night, October 11, the Bahamian scored four touchdowns in a dominating 62-14 victory for the Buffaloes over Veritas Christian School.

One of his touchdown receptions was a leaping catch close by the right-side out of bounds line. He weaved his way into the open field, eluded two defenders and got into the end zone to score the touchdown.

“They were good but I was just using my speed to get by the defenders and get a touchdown,” Albury said about that score.

He is not the only Bahamian who scored at least one touchdown for the Buffaloes. There were Joel Bodie and Amarie Archer who finished with three touchdowns and one touchdown respectively. The trio combined for eight touchdowns in total.

On having Archer and Bodie there, Albury said: “It means a lot because those guys really are my motivation to why I play and every game we try to represent our country well.”

Albury said that this is his first time playing American football. He said that he can also run track but his first love is basketball. His main focus is on basketball while at Sunrise Christian.

“I don’t have any goals as far as football is concerned because my main focus is basketball but whatever comes I’ll be glad to take,” Albury said.

The former Temple Christian Suns guard was exceptional in high school last year. He was a nightmare for defenders as he used his speed and ball handling skills to get into the paint at will.

Sunrise Christian boasts Bahamian alums such as Sacramento Kings’ shooting guard Chavano “Buddy” Hield, former Michigan State University basketball standout Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. and former University of Louisiana-Monroe forward Travis Munnings who now plays professionally in France.

Albury, 17, said he had to make many adjustments such as establishing new friends and getting used to not having his family around. Coming from a tropical country, he had to get acclimatized to cooler weather conditions that get as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. At this year’s Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama, back in March, Albury was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Albury had a great summer, averaging 19.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and three assists per game to lead The Bahamas’ under-17 boys national basketball team to a third-place finish at the 2019 Centrobasket Championships. That third place finish meant that they qualified for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Americas Under-18 (U18) Championships – just one step away from the junior world championships.

Before that, Albury along with Grand Bahamian Romad Dean spent a week attending the 10th edition of the prestigious NBA (National Basketball Association) Basketball Without Borders Americas camp in June of this year in Medellin, Colombia. It is a camp that invites the best junior players from the Americas to come out and display their skills.

Next up for Albury, Bodie and Archer for the Buffaloes will be a home game against Wichita Home School on Friday, October 18.

The football season ends mid-November and basketball season will begin afterwards. Albury said Bahamians can expect a good performance almost every game, and he wants to have good representation of God, his family and his country.

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Simba French

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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