Sports

Riley’s coach expresses excitement to have her on the team

Former junior national team player Briontae Riley has successfully made the move to France, and her new coach, Alexi Ross, is excited to have her on his team.

Riley signed to play for Basket Club Gransois in Grans, France, for the 2020-2021 basketball season.

“I’m very happy to welcome to my team Briontae Riley from The Bahamas. This young 20-year-old player with real physical qualities will reinforce the paint of Grans’ team. She is combative and aggressive, and we are glad she made the choice to rely on us to continue her development,” Ross said.

He said he is looking forward to working with Riley and said she will be an asset to the team.

“I can’t wait to start collective and individual practices with her. Our project at Grans basketball club is to reach national division as quickly as possible and I think Riley’s reinforcement will be a real asset for the team,” Ross said.

Riley joins Lashann Higgs as Bahamian female basketball players playing in Europe this season. She wants to make a big impact in France while shining light on women’s basketball in The Bahamas.

Riley’s move to France was facilitated by Bahamian professional basketball player Jaraun “Kino” Burrows and his Raw Talent organization. She was the first female player from the program to sign.

“It is awesome to be able to sign our first female player and I think Briontae will open up doors for other young Bahamians to be able to come to Europe and develop their skills,” Burrows stated.

Riley is Burrows’ third player to sign in Europe this summer. She said she is grateful for Burrows’ involvement in getting the deal done. Earlier in the summer, Adam Johnson (France) and Wilkenson “Kenny” Isnord (Czech Republic) signed to play in Europe. Burrows said the program is growing fast.

“The word is getting out that The Bahamas has world-class talent along with hungry, high-character young athletes. When given opportunities, they have been performing well and opening doors for other young athletes. We will stay with the formula. I will keep continuing to mentor these young men and women and hopefully the program continues to grow, and we have a lot more opportunities and success stories,” Burrows said.

One of Burrows’ first athletes to sign was Bahamian senior men’s national team member Dominick Bridgewater, who has been able to progress in his basketball endeavors, playing for Sapela Basket in France’s fourth division, NM2, this season.

Riley is looking forward to the experience to play for Basket Club Gransois this season.

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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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