Sports

‘Coach Yo’ to serve as an assistant with senior men’s national team

Following a historic season of leading the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) women’s basketball team to its first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Tournament appearance in 15 years, Head Coach Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin continues to write history of her own.

The Grand Bahama native is returning home to serve as an assistant coach for The Bahamas’ senior men’s national basketball team during the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Cup qualifiers.

McPhee-McCuin joins forces with Golden State Warriors’ Assistant Coach Chris DeMarco, as The Bahamas vies to qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup next summer in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. As the first woman to ever coach with the senior men’s national team in The Bahamas, McPhee-McCuin looks to assist the team reach its first-ever world cup.

“I have been following Coach Yo’s career extensively and I am excited to have her join us. Her knowledge and depth of experience as a veteran head coach will be an incredible asset for us as we compete to qualify for the world cup,” said DeMarco. “We are excited that she accepted the role and look forward to having her with us during this pivotal time.”

A mini training camp is set to take place June 25 through 30 in Miami, Florida, before competition in the third window of the FIBA Americas qualifiers begins July 1 in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) against the host nation USVI. That game will start at 7 p.m. The squad then heads to Nassau, The Bahamas, to take on the Dominican Republic in its final game on July 4. That game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

The two games are pivotal for The Bahamas as they find themselves in third place in the group and the top three teams from each group will move forward to the second round of qualifiers taking place in August, November and February 2023.

From the group of 12 heading to the next round, the top seven will qualify for the FIBA World Cup next August.

McPhee-McCuin is familiar with competition on the world stage, serving as the Head Coach for The Bahamas’ senior women’s national team from 2014 through 2017. Under her tutelage, The Bahamas won the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship for women, as the best national team in the Caribbean.

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful to represent The Bahamas as a coach for the senior men’s national team in international play,” said McPhee-McCuin. “Any time that you have the opportunity to represent ‘home’, it’s a blessing and I’m looking forward to helping our team compete in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.”

The Bahamas can clinch a spot in the next round of qualifiers with a win over the USVI on July 1. A split in the two games should be sufficient for the nation to move on.

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