Sports

Nesbitt inks deal with Spanish club

Bahamian Valerie Nesbitt recently signed her first professional basketball contract to play for the Spanish club Club Baloncesto Islas Canarias, months after graduating from Ole Miss University.

Known as SPAR Gran, the team plays in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain and competes in the highest women’s basketball division, Liga Femenina Endesa (Liga Dia).

Nesbitt, who finished her senior year for the Ole Miss Rebels, averaged 6.2 points last season.

Bahamian Yolett McPhee-McCuin, her coach while she played for the Rebels, expressed excitement for her.

“Congrats are in order to Nesbitt as she signed her contract to play overseas in Spain this August!” McPhee-McCuin posted on social media. “If you’re looking to be inspired, I hope you hear Val’s story. I am in this business because I get to impact young people like Val. Now it’s time to spread your wings and fly! You’re ready! Just continue to let God use you and stay humble as the enemy doesn’t want to see you win!”

Nesbitt became a Rebel in the 2019-2020 season.

One of the best games in her senior year was against the University of Florida Gators on January 24. In that game, which saw her team getting back on track after returning from COVID-19 protocols, she scored a team-high 18 points in a 78-68 result. It was also her most made shots and shot attempts where she went 8-for-12. She also was able to dish out a season-high seven assists.

The Rebels were unable to make the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I National Championships this past season. However, they were invited to play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). They made it to the championship game, where they faced Rice University. Rice won 71-58.

In that game, which was the guard’s final game for the Rebels, she finished with four points, three rebounds and four assists in 12 minutes of play. Known for her prowess in the steals category, she had three steals in that game.

Before transferring to Ole Miss, Nesbitt played for Chipola College in the 2018-2019 season, where she averaged 17.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in her sophomore year to help them finish with a 22-6 win/loss record.

SPAR Gran finished eighth in the league last season with a 13-17 win/loss record thanks to ending the season with a five-game winning streak. The team made the playoffs but was unable to get past the first round against eventual winners Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca.

The team is set to tip-off its 2021-2022 campaign against Lointek Gernika Bizkaia on September 25.

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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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