Sports

Briontae Riley signs to play in France

Bahamian women’s basketball player Briontae Riley recently signed a contract to play for Basket Club Gransois in Grans, France, for the 2020-2021 basketball season.

The 20-year-old is very excited for the opportunity to play for the club. She hopes to perform at her best.

“When I go to France, my plans are not only to move up in the province but to open up doors and opportunities for other Bahamian female basketball players,” she said. “To Basket Club Gransois I bring all of me, my hard work, dedication, my humbleness, my talent and the passion for the thing that I love which is basketball.”

Riley joins Lashann Higgs who will be playing in Spain this season as Bahamian female basketball players playing in Europe. Riley wants to make a big impact in France while shining light on women’s basketball in The Bahamas.

The move to France was facilitated by Bahamian professional basketball player Jaraun “Kino” Burrows and his Raw Talent organization.

“I am truly blessed and very thankful for Kino Burrows,” Riley stated. “He’s been by my side every step of the way, making sure I was doing what I needed to do to prepare to travel and also holding things down on his end, making sure I got whatever it was I needed to get. I connected with Raw Talent through an old coach of mine. He messaged me and asked if I was interested in going to a higher league.”

Riley does not know what to expect in terms of competition, but she is willing to put in the work to match the level of play in France and surpass it.

The six-foot player spent the 2018-2019 season at Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in Canada. She played in 19 games and started in two of them, averaging 4.5 points in 12.5 minutes per contest. Holland finished third in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association with a 13-5 win/loss record in their regular season.

There will be a language barrier in France, but Riley said she has prepared herself to get adjusted by learning the language.

“New languages are so hard to learn,” Riley said. “I never took French in school, only Spanish, so trying to learn French will be difficult. I am familiar with French because I went to college in Canada and we traveled to a few French-speaking places to compete so I will adjust.”

The former Doris Johnson Senior High School forward said she has been keeping in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During this pandemic, I spent most of my days doing home workouts and jogging around my neighborhood mostly, and four mornings out of the week I’ve been privately meeting with a coach from the Raw Talent organization, working on my basketball development,” Riley stated.

She played on several junior national teams between the ages of 13 and 17. She said she is looking forward to the experience in France.

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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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