Sports

Bahamians receive opportunity to play abroad

Three more Bahamian student-athletes will get the opportunity to play basketball at the collegiate and preparatory school level this fall in the United States.

Heading to play for the Monroe Community College Mustangs in Rochester, New York, is Aisja Strachan.

Strachan completed her high school studies and basketball career at Redemption Christian Academy in Northfield, Massachusetts.

She helped lead her team to a conference title in her final year – a goal she had set to achieve. They won over 20 games and lost 13 games.

“We had a really good team this year,” Strachan said. “It was a particularly new team, as only three of us returned from last year, but that didn’t play a major role. There were a lot of setbacks that were presented to us but we overcame them. Just like any other team, we had our ups and downs but that did not stop us from showing out on the court.”

Locally, Strachan played for Queen’s College before going to Redemption.

Also making the jump to college is Malik Joseph, who hails from Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. The forward committed to Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. He just wrapped up his high school education at Southside Christian School in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

His and the Southside Christian Sabres’ season came to an end when they lost to Andre Jackson High School 58-50 in the second round of the 2020 South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) Boys Basketball State Championships – Class AA back in February.

They ended the season with a 17-5 win-loss record. In the first nine games of the season, he averaged a double double with 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, along with 2.5 steals.

He was a member of the Bahamas junior boys basketball team that finished third at the 2019 Centrobasket Championships after defeating the Dominican Republic 85-83. That win meant that The Bahamas advanced to this year’s Under-18 Americas Championship, set for June.

Joseph’s national teammate, Joshua Burrows, is headed to Carbondale, Illinois, to attend and play for the Illinois Preparatory School Trojans.

Burrows spent the last three seasons playing for the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins on New Providence. He was instrumental in guiding the Mystic Marlins to a second straight Government Secondary School Sports Association (GSSSA) senior boys basketball title.

He and his teammate Richard Lowe helped the Mystic Marlins to a 2-1 series victory over a pesky C.I. Gibson Rattlers team. Burrows was clutch down the stretch of game three as he finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The guard was also instrumental in leading them to capture the Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic championship title in 2019.

“I am very grateful and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to play for Illinois prep,” Burrows said. “The head coach at Illinois prep reached out to me. He spoke to me about Illinois Prep, his attributes as a coach. With the conversations we had and advice from my coach Denykco Bowles, I feel like Illinois Prep is the best choice for me at this time in my life.”

Burrows hopes to add his leadership skills to the team along with his on and off-court attributes. He reminisced on his three years at Doris Johnson and called them his best years in school.

“I’ve had the privilege to play for, in my opinion, the best coach in The Bahamas, always pushing us to be the best versions of ourselves, not only on the court but in the classroom and in life. I don’t think I would be such a good athlete and student that I am today without him,” Burrows said.

He has been keeping in shape since the lockdown, doing workouts and running.

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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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