When most are asleep in the wee hours of the morning, Bahamian professional basketball player Michael Carey is going through drills, working out at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium with his trainer Antonio Hanna. Carey said he is working on his skillset and trying to re-acquire basketball movements and getting his body back in basketball rhythm.
He started his gym workouts this past Monday and has been consistent this entire week. Guardian Sports caught up with Carey after his workout Thursday morning.
“It’s great to be here. With us professional athletes getting to do maintenance work, that’s a good thing. People in the profession, whether it’s athletics, swimming or basketball, we just have to stay moving to keep our bodies in shape,” Carey said. “With your second or third year under your belt, I understand what my vets used to tell me – to be ready at all times. I call this ‘breakfast’ for me.”
The Bahamas’ senior men’s national basketball team member said he is working primarily on his shooting.
Carey’s two-hour workout routine includes warm-up floaters, which is 100 shots from 10 spots. He then stretches and spreads out to 15 spots on the floor, making at least 10 at each spot. He then comes back and makes at least 10 shots from 15 spots off the dribble with a variety of moves.
Carey said it only took him about 10 minutes in that initial workout here at home in The Bahamas to get his shot back.
“That’s the beauty of doing it for a good period of time. When you know how to do something, what is making your shot go in is simple… It took like 10 minutes to get my shot back and hit like seven in a row,” Carey said.
To get back into the gym, Carey said, was a three-pronged approach effort.
“I had to reach out to the Ministry of Education and Minister Jeffrey Lloyd, then I reached out to Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) President Mario Bowleg, who is taking basketball to another level. There was also the minster of Youth, Sports and Culture, Lanisha Rolle, whom some may not like but ever since I started dealing with her since being back home, she has been of great help to me. I can’t complain,” he said.
Right now, the National Sports Authority (NSA) is preparing the Kendal G.L Isaacs National Gymnasium for use after housing displaced Hurricane Dorian victims last year. Carey said that the A.F. Adderley gym floor is a little slippery, causing him to be restrictive in some of his movements, but he is making the most out of it.
“I think when the NSA allows us to use Kendal Isaacs gym, things will flow better. When I go to Kendal Isaacs, I can go full speed. This is the end of week one of training and I think I’m back in a little game shape,” he said.
The 6’5” shooting guard returned from Switzerland in March after playing for the Pully Lausanne Foxes in his latest professional stint. He said he has been following the government’s protocols as it refers to the national curfew and lockdown period in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carey said during the curfew and lockdown, he didn’t do any at-home workouts.
In the past two weeks, Carey said, he was able to run some laps around the 400-meter track at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium. He said running helped him to get his body close to where he needs it to be. On May 3, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that “professional athletes” will be allowed to train under the latest Emergency Powers Orders.
Right now, Carey is looking at options for next season. He said that the more options he gets, the better it is for him. In addition to playing professionally in Switzerland, he has played in Spain, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and France.
Normally, the former Wagner University player trains in the United States during the offseason. He said the training of professional athletes at home can help to boost the country’s economy.
“If I can be efficient at home, then I get my own to do the job that I pay people over there (USA) to do. Now, you can keep money flowing in the country. We can now bring money back from Europe and keep money flowing inside the country. It is a great way to help the economy,” Carey said. “The longer I stay over here, the better. It all depends on the facilities. A lot of us don’t want to train in the United States but our facilities are not up to par. We have to do what’s necessary and what’s best for ourselves. They may think it’s just me, the overseas guy, but a lot of high-profile guys, even in track, swimming and tennis, experience the same thing. I talk to everybody and they say that they want to be home training, but the facilities are not up to par.”
Carey said he knows that local coaches have produced a lot of high-profile talent across all sports. At this point, he said, he is happy to be able to get in his shots as he looks for his next professional job, and on the national level, he wants to continue wearing the Bahamian colors and representing The Bahamas in basketball.
Carey played for The Bahamas’ senior men’s national basketball team in February when they split their games against Mexico in the first window of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) AmeriCup 2021 Qualifiers.