Sports

‘Coach Yo’ happy to bring team home

Ole Miss Rebels set to play in Pink Flamingo tournament in The Bahamas

‘Thanksgiving Week’ is a time to travel home to family and friends, and this year, Bahamian Women’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin, and the Ole Miss Lady Rebels, will be coming to The Bahamas to play two games on November 21 and November 23.

They will be playing in the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championships at the Baha Mar Convention Center in New Providence. McPhee-McCuin will be preparing her team to play against the University of Dayton Flyers and the University of Utah Utes. Having her team play in The Bahamas has been something she always wanted to do, said McPhee-McCuin.

“I’ve always wanted to bring my team home to The Bahamas,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I love my country and I think it’s great that many will be able to enjoy the beautiful island. It is my hope that my fellow Bahamians come out and not only support Ole Miss but all of the teams in this event.”

This is not the first time that the Rebels will be traveling to The Bahamas. They played in Junkanoo Jam in 2006, long before McPhee-McCuin became the program’s head coach.

The Rebels play in a tough Southeastern Conference (SEC) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The two games here will be early in the season and the Bahamian head coach will look to see how her team plays.

“With so many new faces on our team, playing in The Bahamas against strong NCAA tournament tested programs like Dayton and Utah will be invaluable for our team as we prepare for Southeastern Conference play,” McPhee-McCuin said.

This will be the second time in program history that the Rebels will play the Flyers, and the first since 1994. The Rebels played the Utes three times in the past with the latest matchup being in 2014.

It will be a great experience for the entire team and the fans as they get an opportunity to create memories, said McPhee-McCuin.

“One of the hallmarks of our program is providing great experiences for our student-athletes and having an opportunity to take a trip like this is going to make for lasting memories for our program and fans,” McPhee-McCuin stated. She was an assistant coach for The Bahamas senior men’s national basketball team this past July. They were in action in the third window of the first round of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Americas World Cup Qualifiers. One of those two games in that window was held at Baha Mar. McPhee-McCuin became the first woman to serve as an assistant coach for the senior men’s national team.

The 2021-2022 collegiate season was an impressive one for McPhee-McCuin and the Rebels. They finished the campaign with 23 wins, including 10 in SEC play for only the second time in program history and they enjoyed their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance – first since 2007.

Rebels’ post player Shakira Austin was drafted at number three overall by the Washington Mystics in this year’s Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft.

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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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