Shaquillo Fritz to start pro career in Spain

The door to play professional basketball in Europe keeps opening for Bahamian basketball players as Shaquillo Fritz will be heading to Spain to play for Hero Jairis this coming season.

Hero Jairis is a newcomer to the Liga Espanola de Baloncesto (LEB) Silver Division. It is the second division of basketball in Spain and they will play in the Eastern Conference. They were promoted to the LEB Silver after finishing as the runner-up in the Spanish Liga EBA (Española de Baloncesto Aficionado) last season.

The 25-year-old center will join Dario Sarrias at the center position for Hero Jairis. The deal for Fritz was a part of five transactions for Hero Jairis in one week in the offseason.

Grand Bahamian Fritz recently graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He was coached by former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Damon Stoudamire and was an integral member of the Pacific Tigers.

Known as a defensive stopper, Fritz finished sixth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in blocks last season, averaging 0.87 per game. He had a season-high five blocks back in January against St. Mary’s University. He played in 30 games last season, averaging 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. He led the team in field goal percentage at 69.6 percent.

Fritz appeared in 25 games for the Arkansas State University Red Wolves during the 2018-2019 season. He started in 13 of those games, finishing with a team high 24 blocks on the season. Fritz shot 44.2 percent from the field that year and averaged 1.9 points per game. He finished the season with 1.0 blocks per contest.

Fritz played for Paris Community College before arriving at Arkansas State in 2017. The big man finished his high school education at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, after starting off for the St. George’s Jaguars in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Fritz is expected to add shot-blocking ability and rebounding for his new team. The Head Coach for Hero Jairis is Pepe Llorente. They finished with a 5-7 win/loss record in a shortened season this past season.

Fritz joins a host of Bahamians who are expected to be playing in Europe next season. The list includes Jaraun “Kino” Burrows (France), Dominick Bridgewater (France), Lashann Higgs (Spain), Willis Mackey Jr. (France), Zane Knowles (Turkey), Dwight Coleby (Turkey) and Adam Johnson (France) along with others.

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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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