Sports

Nathan Bain’s story featured on ESPN

There probably was no bigger shot in basketball for The Bahamas than Nathan Bain’s game-winning layup for the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks against the then-number one ranked Duke Blue Devils in college basketball in the United States in 2019.

In what turned out to be one of the stories of the year in sports for 2019, and is featured on ESPN, Bain’s buzzer-beating shot sent reverberations throughout the sport and shook up the college basketball landscape in the U.S. To say it had a lasting impact would be an understatement. Simply put, it triggered what would be a transformative season for the Lumberjacks, one of their best ever in men’s college basketball, leading them on an impressive 28-win campaign that only appears to be hindered with the cancelation of major tournaments in the U.S.

With the impact and threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic being felt worldwide, sports on the whole has taken a back seat.

Be that as it may, Bain’s shot was certainly one of the most memorable in all of college basketball this season. In just a few days, his GoFundMe page, set up to help his family rebuild after the passing of Hurricane Dorian in September, raised more than $120,000. He was honored on Senior Night as the Lumberjacks ended the regular season with their 15th straight win and 21st in their last 22 games, defeating the Sam Houston State Bearkats, 68-57, two Saturdays ago. Nathan’s parents, local basketball mastermind father Norris Bain, and mother Ashell Bain, were in attendance, celebrating with him on Senior Night in what would be Nathan’s final collegiate basketball game.

The Lumberjacks took off after that stunning 85-83 overtime upset win over Duke on the road in November, teams started noticing them, and Bain’s GoFundMe page reflected that. Prior to that game, Bain’s page had raised just a couple thousand dollars. That number skyrocketed after his story spread nationwide, now totaling over $150,000.

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September, causing billions of dollars in damage. Bain’s childhood home in Freeport, Grand Bahama was among the devastation, completely destroyed. In an emotional plea following his game-winning shot over Duke, Bain reached out on a national outlet and his call for help was answered.

Bain’s mother Ashell said: “It meant the world to the people of The Bahamas. I told him it’s a shot that was heard around the world. It made people more aware of The Bahamas. They saw the need to give and to help.” Bain said he just thanks everyone and looks forward to what’s to come. “I’m just in disbelief at what basketball has done for my family. It was truly a blessing,” he told The Associated Press.

 It is one of the stories of the year in college basketball and is featured on ESPN.

In a moment that took their minds off the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian, Bain’s family celebrated a remarkable victory for Stephen F. Austin over Duke.

The Lumberjacks were a 27-point underdog, but prevailed largely in part to Bain’s contribution, and had no idea what was to come next. Contributions started coming from everywhere.

Bain finished that game with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, including the game’s biggest play. With the game tied at 83 with just a few seconds remaining in overtime, he received an outlet pass from the floor as his teammate dove for a loose ball, and raced the length of the court for the game-winning breakaway layup at the buzzer.

It was Duke’s first loss at home, inside Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, to an unranked non-conference opponent in almost 20 years – a streak of 150 games.

Bain and the Lumberjacks finished with a 28-3 overall record, 19-1 Southland Conference.

They easily won the conference’s regular season title, and went into the Southland Conference Tournament as the number one seed, before the tournament was canceled last Thursday.

The season may be over, and Bain’s collegiate career is done, but the celebration continued after their regular season finale.

Bain got engaged, issuing a tearful but joyous proposal to longtime girlfriend Lyndsee.

He finished with just two points and six rebounds in the season finale against Sam Houston State, and averaged 5.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists this season, but will always be remembered for the shot that sent the Lumberjacks to their biggest win in program history – beating Duke in what was certainly one of the biggest upsets in college basketball this season.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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