More Bahamian athletes join hurricane relief efforts

More Bahamian athletes have joined in the hurricane relief efforts after Dorian, coming to the aid of Bahamians in need.

DeAndre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns has stepped up, digging into his pockets. He has contributed $100,000 to the cause.

On one of his social media accounts on Friday, the starting center for the Suns posted: “Thank you to everyone for reaching out with their prayers and concern. It’s been a rough few days checking in on family and friends back home and thankfully everyone is ok. The damage back home is devastating and my heart goes out to my fellow Bahamians as we deal with the effects of Hurricane Dorian.” He continued: “My family and I have been working to determine how best to support now and going forward. We’ll be pledging $100,000 toward various relief efforts while we continue to work through long-term support with the NBA family and my partners.”

The former University of Arizona basketball standout is also staging a DeAndre Ayton Hurricane Relief Drive tomorrow at Fry’s Food Store at 4724 North 20th Street in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. In June of this year, Ayton donated $10,000 to the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development.

Ayton is heading into his second season in the NBA (National Basketball Association), having finished his rookie campaign averaging a double-double. He averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. He played in 71 games and shot 58.5 percent from the field – one of the highest percentages for rookies from the field in NBA history.

Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm, professional baseball player in the Miami Marlins organization, joined the list of Bahamian athletes who are playing a role in the hurricane relief efforts.

He also took to social media to appeal to persons to assist. The starting shortstop of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp has already begun hosting a hurricane relief drive. The drive wraps up this coming Saturday at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. He is asking for persons to donate tents, cots, water and other supplies directly to Marlins Park. Chisholm will be present in person on Saturday, looking to interact with all who come out to support.

“As you know, The Bahamas is the place I call home. It has always been a special part of my life. During this time of need after Hurricane Dorian, I want to thank the Marlins for all their support and I’m asking everyone to help contribute toward the relief,” he posted.

Chisholm was traded to the Marlins from the Arizona Diamondbacks in late July this year. The slugger finished the season with 21 home-runs. His batting average for the year is .220, and he finished the year with 87 hits. He finished with 54 runs batted in (RBIs) and 16 stolen bases. In his last 10 games of the season, he went 11-for-35.

Joanna Evans, an Olympian and accomplished swimmer, also used one of her social media outlets to get some much-needed relief for the Northern Bahamas.

“As many of you know, Hurricane Dorian recently tore through The Bahamas leaving my hometown in ruins. The footage and horror stories are chilling. Many of the people who I grew up with spent long traumatic hours in the roof of their homes, watching flood waters rise, swimming to shelters or praying that their homes would not fall on them. Now, countless Bahamians are left with anything but the clothes on their backs – no homes, schools or places of work to return to,” she said.

The former University of Texas swimmer continued: “They say it takes a village, and Grand Bahama is the place that has made me the person who I am today. My Bahamian people have supported me in all of my endeavors and have made it possible for me to be able to travel throughout the world representing the 242. Now, it is my turn to take care of my people. I am calling on you to help me in assisting my Bahamian people who have lost so much.”

The swimmer, who is aspiring to represent The Bahamas at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, set up a GoFundMe page last Friday – “Hurricane Relief – The Bahamas (by Joanna Evans)” – to assist those in need. The goal is $20,000, and a little under $5,500 has been raised in two days.

Evans holds Bahamian national records in five individual events – the 200, 400 and 800 meters (m) freestyle events; and the 200 and 400m Individual Medley (IM) races.

Vereance Burrows, a Bahamian Olympic swimmer who also hails from storm-ravaged Grand Bahama, set up a GoFundMe page last Thursday – “Hurricane Relief for Grand Bahama (by: @ElvisVB)”. His target is $50,000 and he has raised a little over $4,000 so far.

The former University of Kentucky Wildcats swimmer has inked his name in the Bahamian national record books in three individual events – the 50m freestyle, and 50 and 100m butterfly events. He was the national record holder in the 100m freestyle, but that was broken at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, by Jared Fitzgerald.

Before her game on Friday night against the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun center in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Jonquel “JJ” Jones was presented with $5,100 to go toward her GoFundMe hurricane relief effort.

Earlier last week, other Bahamian athletes and sportspersons like Sacramento Kings guard in the NBA Chavano “Buddy” Hield, Ole Miss Rebels women’s basketball head coach Yolett “Coach Yo” McPhee-McCuin and Bahamian speed queen Shaunae Miller-Uibo, also set up GoFundMe pages to assist in the hurricane relief efforts.

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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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