Bahamian basketball players see action overseas
It was a busy weekend for four Bahamian professional basketball players as they were in regular season action for their various teams.
Kadeem Coleby and Mark St. Fort were in action in Japan while Lashann Higgs and Travis Munnings were on the court in Spain and Portugal respectively.
Coleby and his Akita Northern Happinets are off to a perfect 4-0 start in the season after taking care of Kyoto Hannaryz in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. They sit atop the Eastern Division in the Japan B1 League.
The Happinets won 79-68 over Kyoto on Sunday, a day after beating them 90-71. On Sunday, the former Wichita State University product finished with a double-double, posting 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the win. He went 4-for-6 from the field and logged 30 minutes.
On Saturday, Coleby finished with a season and team-high 21 points in 24 minutes. He narrowly missed out on a perfect night from the field as he made 10-of-11 shots.
In his first game back on October 3 against the Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano, the power forward posted eight points and three boards in 16 minutes. The following day, against the same team, he finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three assists.
Coleby leads the Happinets’ scoring attack with 14.3 points per game. He is averaging the second-highest in rebounds for his team with 7.3 per contest. The 6’ 9” 250-pound big man is averaging one block a game on the season.
The Happinets return to the court this Saturday and Sunday with back-to-back games against the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
St. Fort signed a contract with Niigata Albirex in the Japan B1 League on Saturday past, leaving Sea Horses Mikawa who also play in that league two games into the season.
Niigata Albirex fell to the Golden Kings 86-79 on Sunday in an away game. St. Fort played seven minutes and did not attempt a shot or a free throw, but managed to get two rebounds and one blocked shot.
On Saturday, St. Fort scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in 17 minutes in his debut. His team fell 89-75 to the Golden Kings.
They have a 1-3 win-loss record this season and sit in ninth position in the Eastern Division standings.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to wear the Niigata Albirex BB uniform. I will do my best to help the team in order to win more games with the thoughts of Niigata fans,” St. Fort said when he was introduced.
Next up for St. Fort and Niigata Albirex are back-to-back games against the Shiga Lakerstars this weekend.
It looks like Higgs has found her comfort zone in Spain as she picked up a double-double, scoring a team and season-high 28 points and pulling down a season-high 12 boards on Sunday night. However, Higgs and her team, Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre PDM, fell short 79-75 to Casademont Zaragoza in the Liga Femenina Endesa league.
The former University of Texas Longhorns guard played a team-high 29 minutes and went 11-of-21, shooting 52.3 percent from the field including 2-of-4 from three-point land.
This loss puts her team in the 12th position in the league standings, with a 1-3 record on the season.
In her previous game on October 3, Higgs was masterful again as she led her team in scoring with 22 points and posted six rebounds in their only win of the season. They took down Gran Canaria 79-69 at home in that game. Higgs went 8-of-13 from the field including 1-for-2 from long distance in 28 minutes of play.
She is ranked in the top 10 in the league in scoring at number eight with 16.8 points per game. That average was boosted over the last two games after she went for nine and eight points in her first and second games of the season respectively. Clarinos guard Tanaya Atkinson leads the league with 21.3 points per contest.
Next up for Higgs and her team is a matchup against Atkinson and Clarinos on Saturday.
Over in Portugal, Munnings and his Unia Desportiva (UD) Oliveirense Basquetbol coasted to a 73-53 blowout win on the road over Ovarense on Saturday in their opening season game in the Liga Portuguesa de Basketball–- the top tier league in Portugal.
Munnings scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds to go with three assists for his new team. He was one of six players on his team to score in double digits. The forward logged 26 minutes and shot 4-of-12 from the field including 1-of-3 from three-point territory.
His team will continue its road trip when they play Galito Barreirense on Saturday.