Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers’ senior boys basketball Head Coach Jay Philippe and his staff received some good news this week as three of their key basketball players have made their next move to further their education in the United States of America, while playing college basketball.
Guards Rolante Knowles and Oswald Meadows are going to Oroville, California, to play for Butte College; while center Martie Davis will be taking his talents to Florida State College at Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Rolante was someone we really wanted to get off to school because we feel he deserved it and worked hard for it, and, like we preach to our kids in practice, take care of things on the court and we’ll take care of things for them as far as getting recognized is concerned. He’s a great leader, a great guy and smart kid out there on the court,” Philippe said. “Oswald was disciplined. This year he improved so much, becoming the starting point guard on the junior national team for The Bahamas. We knew he was the best point guard in high school basketball, and I think he proved that this year. Every game we won, it was because of Oswald’s ball control and his ability to control a basketball game.”
Marco Cooper, an assistant with the Stingers, has worked closely with Davis, who has shown that he is one of the more reliable big men in high school basketball in the country.
“He and I have this tough love kind of relationship on the basketball court because I hold him to such a high standard. I hold all of them (the players) to a high standard, but I was extremely hard on Martie because I knew exactly, more than any other position, what to expect,” Cooper said. “At the next level, I told him, it’s going to be a lot of big transitions, but he’s more than capable of adjusting and fitting into the program he’ll be playing in. He has to continue to work hard and continue to not take days off and not take anything for granted.”
Philippe said he did not recruit the trio to Sunland, adding that it was their choice. He said all three players will do well in college, and this is just the beginning for them.
“I have been talking to the coach at Butte every single day for the past two weeks. He is excited about Rolante and Oswald but in particular Rolante. He said Rolante has a lot of confidence and he needs someone that is going to shoot the ball at a high level. They are going to do well – they are going to help each other on the court and mentally,” Philippe said. “When the coach in Florida heard about Martie and spoke to me about him, he said he loves bigs. He is a coach who loves a slow-paced system, which Martie fits well into being a 6’8”, 230-pound kid. He can spread the floor and make big plays.”
All three players, who hail from the Abacos, were instrumental in putting the Stingers at the forefront of high school basketball in the country this season. They won the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament and the Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Athletic Association (GBSSAA)/Pizza Hut Tip-Off Classic.
Philippe said his team only lost two games all season, and they are looking for continued success in the future.