Sports

Bahamian pro basketball players safe abroad

Apart from Dwight Coleby, who is in the middle of a major coronavirus outbreak in Italy, there are Bahamian professional basketball players in Europe and Japan, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.

Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) President Mario Bowleg said he has been in contact with various players – Dwight Coleby (Italy), Jaraun “Kino” Burrows (France), Dominick Bridgewater (France) and Kadeem Coleby (Japan), just to name a few. All of their seasons have been suspended due to the spread of the virus.

“I have been in contact with a number of players who we have around the world,” Bowleg said. “Some have been able to make it home and some have not. Those who are in France and Italy have decided to stay the course and lock down and stay away from the public. They have heeded to the warnings, policies and procedures put in place by their perspective governments and have safeguarded themselves.”

Dwight plays for Dinamo Sassari in the top league in Italy. Burrows is a member of Aix-Maurienne Savoie Basket in the Pro B League in France. Bridgewater moved up into the same league as Burrows and he plays for Fos-Sur-Mer Provence Basket. Dwight’s brother Kadeem Coleby plays for the Akita Northern Happinets in the Japan B1 League – the highest league in that country.

Bowleg said the players are all safe and will not be impacted by this pandemic. He understands that Japan had started to play some of their games in isolated arenas but had to shut it down.

Kadeem last played back on March 15. The former Wichita State University player was having a respectable season before the league called off the remainder of its schedule due to COVID-19 on Friday, March 27. The power forward led the league in blocks per game with 1.9 blocks per contest at the time of the stoppage. He was also averaging 10.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

The league announced that it would not crown a league champion this year. Akita was fifth in the Eastern Division standings in the league with a 19-22 win-loss record.

Burrows is averaging 13.8 points per game and has pulled down 5.8 rebounds per game this season. He has dished out 2.9 assists per contest. The power forward led his team to a 9-14 record at the time of the stoppage.

Bridgewater moved up to Pro B League earlier this year. He averaged 16 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game during his 2018-2019 season, when he played for Fos-Sur-Mer Provence in the under-21 division in France.

He was instrumental for Team Bahamas in the first window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifiers back in February, when he scored a team-high 15 points in the second game of that window to help The Bahamas take down Mexico, 76-59, at home.

The Pro B League’s last game this season was on March 10.

Dwight played in three games and started in all of them before his league play was suspended.

Bowleg and the coaching staff of the senior men’s national team have also been in constant contact with each other since the start of the national lockdown.

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