Sports

Burrows to miss Leaders Cup final with back injury

Bahamian professional basketball player Jaraun ‘Kino’ Burrows did not expect to be missing the LNB Pro B Leaders Cup final when his Fos Provence Byers battle Beliers Quimperois on Sunday November 22, at the Halle Parsemain in Fos Sur Mer, France.

Burrows suffered a back muscle injury earlier this month while lifting weights. He played in the first four Leaders Cup games where he was able to average 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest, and shot at a high clip of 56.8 percent from the field in those four games.

The winner of this game will have the automatic eighth seed into the playoffs.

Although he is injured, the veteran leader will still play a role on the bench as he cheers on his team and motivates them. Burrows got back on the court this week. He is hopeful that his recovery goes according to plan and he is ready when the season restarts.

The LNB Pro B regular season took a break at the end of October for four weeks. The shutdown came after a rise in COVID-19 cases in France forced that country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, to announce restrictive measures on October 29. According to Burrows, the regular season restart depends on what Macron says on December 2. This is the second league stoppage that Burrows is going through this year. His 2019-2020 campaign was cancelled back in March.

“It has been tough for me. It is a daily fight mentally because I have been dealing with this since March and I was hoping that it was going to be better by this time, but instead it got worse. I am trying to stay positive as best as I can,” Burrows said.

The regular season was just two games in for Burrows and Byers before it came to a halt. In those two games, the Bahamian averaged 12 points and five rebounds per contest. He is shooting 43.5 percent from the field. Being an experienced player, the forward/center has relied less on his athleticism and more on his experience to be efficient.

His team split those games and they sit in the 10th spot.

In his area in Fos Provence, Burrows said the COVID-19 situation got worse.

“Earlier in the season, we were hearing about the numbers rising but it was not around us up until a few weeks ago,” he said. “It started to get on the youth program then some of the guys on the pro team then to our administrative office. It is definitely here, and we are doing everything that we can to prevent it. It is always about taking risks as athletes, but we are doing our RT-PCR tests weekly and if they are positive, we are learning to live with it as best as we can. We do up to three RT-PCR tests per week.”

Burrows recently retired from national team play. In addition to him, there are three other Bahamian players playing professionally in France, namely Willis Mackey (JSA Bordeaux), Dominick Bridgewater (Basket Sapela) and Adam Johnson (Byers Academy).

“I normally stay in touch with all of the guys. Willis (Mackey) in Bordeaux lets me know how things are going there. There is Adam (Johnson) and Dominick (Bridgewater) who are right in my area so we are all together coping. It is suspended right now. It is now a period of fighting the mental side of things,” Burrows said.

No spectators will be at the game on Sunday as France grapples with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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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