Bahamian student-athlete Joshua Dames has achieved one of his ultimate goals, receiving a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) men’s basketball offer. The athletic scholarship, his first, comes from the South Carolina State Bulldogs.
Dames remained humble, stating that he is looking forward to what else is to come.
“This year has been great. I am just waiting to hear back from a few coaches. I have been blessed to receive my first offer at the start of the recruiting season. It has been an awesome and a blessed year,” he said.
The Bulldogs play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). They finished eighth in their conference with an 11-18 win-loss record overall, 6-10 in conference play. Murray Garvin is the head coach.
Dames played with the BC Christian Prep Panthers in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, this past season. He played on The Bahamas’ under-16 boys national basketball team in 2016.
“It has been tremendous,” Dames said. “With me coming to BC Christian, that has been a great experience for me and my family. I was able to take my basketball game to a totally different level – being able to know how to use my emotions and be a more composed basketball player. To be able to compete at this level has been a great experience for me.”
Dames was joined by Bahamians Bradley Lightbourne and Kendrick Russell on the Panthers. The trio helped to lead the Panthers to a 7-4 win-loss record on the season.
For the 2019-2020 season, Dames was consistent and proved to be an asset to the team, averaging 18 points, 2.9 rebounds, two assists and 2.8 steals per game.
He moved from New Providence to Grand Bahama, continuing his high school career, and this past season for the Panthers he shot 62.5 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from deep.
In his 11 games played, he had five games where he scored over 30 points. To show his shooting ability from three-point range, the guard had more than six three-pointers in eight games.
Before heading to British Columbia to play for the Panthers, Dames was the leader of the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons in Freeport, Grand Bahama. They came up short twice in major local tournaments in 2018-2019, his last year there.
Last year, the guard led the Falcons to the Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships but they were defeated by the St. George’s High School Jaguars, 62-57.
In that game, Dames was unstoppable as he finished with 26 points and seven rebounds in the loss. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Earlier that year, Dames led the Falcons to the Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Sports Association (GBSSSA) Championship, where they were swept two games to none by the Jaguars. Dames scored 14 points in the second game of that series.
Last summer, Dames was selected to attend the Hope 24 Basketball Clinic hosted by Grand Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield, guard for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA. It was a week-long clinic for 24 of the top high school basketball players in the country. They went through drills, did community outreach, worked on conditioning, interacted with Hield and then played a scrimmage game against each other.
Dames thanked his coaches from the Panthers, Falcons and Teleos Christian School here in New Providence for their help. He also thanked those who have helped him on his journey thus far.