Junior Male Athlete of the Year 

Bahamian collegiate swimmer Izaak Bastian has the potential of making it into the Olympics one day as the Florida State University Seminoles swimmer is a force to reckon with in the pool.

The 17-year-old put on a record-breaking performance as he dominated the 2018 CARIFTA Swimming Championships back in March of this year. He left with eight gold medals, three of which were the result of record-breaking performances.

He broke the meet record in the 15-17 boys 200 meters (m) breaststroke in a time of 2:17.78, the 15-17 boys 50m breaststroke in a time of 28.69 and 15-17 50m freestyle in a time of 23.20.

In addition to breaking the CARIFTA 15-17 boys 200m breaststroke, Bastian also broke the senior national record. In that race he defeated silver medalist Barbados’ Luis Weekes 2:23.63 and fellow Bahamian Tyler Russell won the bronze in a time of 2:27.00.

In the 15-17 boys 50m breaststroke, Bastian bested Aruba’s Brandon Cheong (28.69) and Mathis Lomon of Guadeloupe.

At that same meet, he also won gold in the 15-17 boys 50m butterfly, 100m breaststroke, 15-17 boys 400m medley relay, 15-17 boys 200m freestyle relay and the 15-17 boys 400m freestyle relay.

He served as captain of the team.

After Jamaica, Bastian went to Gold Coast, Australia to swim in his first senior international meet, the Commonwealth Games.

He swam in three races and managed to make it into the semis for only one of the races, the 50m breaststroke. He swam it in 29.28.

Bastian also made the national team for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The speedy swimmer swam in five races: 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 50m butterfly, 200m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

He managed to power his way into the final A ranks in the 200m breaststroke and the 100m breaststroke. Bastian was in the Finals B in the 50m breaststroke. Unfortunately, he did not medal in any of the final A races.

The freshman was in action for his Seminoles in the past semester and is working his way up the collegiate ranks.

He is definitely one of the young up and coming male junior athletes that The Bahamas should follow as he works on perfecting his craft.

The fastest junior 100m sprinter in the Caribbean is Bahamian Joel Johnson. At the 2018 CARIFTA Games, the confident sprinter qualified for the under-20 boys 100m final with the fastest qualifying time of 10.40 seconds.

Johnson went on to win the gold medal in the final in a new Bahamian junior national record of 10.31 seconds. His teammate Adrian Curry finished second in 10.43 seconds. Rikkoi Brathwaite, of the British Virgin Islands, was third with a time of 10.46 seconds.

In the 200m, Johnson was up against Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor. Taylor won the gold in 20.38 seconds, leaving Johnson at the 80m. Johnson got silver with a time of 20.90 seconds. Bronze went to Taylor’s teammate, Xavier Nairne, who ran the race in 21.07 seconds.

He set a personal best in the 100m at CARIFTA. In June, Johnson set a personal best of 20.87 seconds in the 200m at the BAAA’s National Junior Championships.

The speedster made the national team that travelled to Tampere, Finland for the IAAF World U-20 Championships. In the 100m, he advanced to the semis but did not start due to an injury. He was also unable to start in the 200m.

Johnson aspires to be a professional track and field athlete. He is well on the way once he continues to work hard and remain focus.

Samuel ‘Sammy’ Hunter is one of the young cadres of Bahamian basketball players that has turned heads. The 6’9” power forward is a force to reckon with. He currently plays in Canada for British Columbia Christian Preparatory.

In the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s (BBF) Summer of Thunder, Hunter displayed his talents against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Hunter dropped 18 points on the Tar Heels while grabbing five rebounds. He was busy on the defensive end picking up three steals.

He had a good game against the Fighting Irish scoring 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds and connected on 10 of his 16 field goal attempts to shoot for 63 percent.

Hunter, a three-star player, also represented The Bahamas at the senior men’s level when he played for The Bahamas this past summer at the Central America and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Last month, Hunter and fellow Bahamians dazzled fans at the inaugural Caribbean Tip-Off Showcase at the Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium.

Hunter averaged 33.3 points per game, 11.7 rebounds per game and 2.3 assists per game during the classic. He also averaged 1.7 blocks per game and one steal per game. He scored a tournament high 40 points.

He has committed to play collegiate basketball for the Division I Ole Miss Rebels.


Junior Male Scores

1st – Izaak Bastian

(swimming) – 29 points

2nd – Joel Johnson

(athletics) – 27 points

3rd – Samuel Hunter

(basketball) – 20 points

4th – Mitchell Curtis

(athletics) – 16 points

5th – D’Shawn Knowles

(baseball) – 13 points

6th – Desmond Butler

(basketball) – 12 points

7th – Raymond Oriakhi

(athletics) – 10 points

T8th – Kai Jones

(basketball) – 9 points

T8th – Donte Armbrister

(tennis) – 9 points

10th – Xavion Johnson

(Judo) – 8 points

11th – Shaun Miller Jr.

(athletics) – 4 points

12th – Julio Jemison

(soccer) – 3 points

13th – Dominic Bridgewater

(basketball) – 2 points

T14th – Trent Deveaux

(baseball) – 1 point


T14th – Kristian Robinson

(baseball) – 1 point

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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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