Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Back to trials


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Look who’s back! Nine years after last representing Barbados, national forward George Haynes seems set to make a long-awaited return to the senior men’s basketball side after being named in a 32-man trials squad for next month’s FIBA Caribbean Cup in Suriname.

Haynes’ inclusion was the biggest surprise of a list released by the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association that features two other overseas-based players, including professional basketballer Andre Lockhart and fellow national player Jabar Williams.

A talented six-foot-nine force in the middle, Haynes initially made his name as a shock inclusion on the 2007 national side before justifying his place on the team and establishing himself as one of the country’s best players.

The former Coleridge and Parry student subsequently made another Barbados team in 2009 and went on to ply his trade collegiately in the US at Western Oklahoma State and Mid-America Christian University.

But the dominant forward/centre fell off the map somewhat since migrating to Oklahoma full time, having failed to appear in either of the last two national squads in 2014 and 2015 after not getting time off from work to represent the country.

“It makes me feel greatly appreciated that I am still being acknowledged by my country,” said Haynes of his invite.

The list features very few surprises beyond that, as returning national captain Jeremy Gill headlines a group of seven KFC Orange 3 Pinelands players including Charles Vanderpool, Junior Moore, Ramon Simmons, Ian Alexander, Derion Hurley and junior national coach Zahir Motara.

American-born UWI student Granville Gittens has also been invited to a trials squad that features two talented schoolboys in Kiserian Adams and Hurley’s younger brother Deroni, who almost recorded the Premier League’s first ever quadruple double earlier this season.

Point guards Tremaine Shaw, Andrew Ifill and Anand Joseph-Thorne were notable omissions from the 32-man list.

Barbados has been pooled in a relatively weak Group B with regional lightweights Bermuda and Montserrat, big unknowns Haiti and perennial semi-finalists Antigua and Barbuda in a rebranded tournament that serves as a qualifier for the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup.

The competition runs from June 25 to 29. (JM)

Trials squad: Kiserian Adams, Deroni Hurley (Tridents) Rahiim Gibbons, Kelan Phillips (Burger King Clapham Bulls), Justin Pile, Nicholai Williams, Jamar Headley (Hilton Barbados Warriors) Manuel Alleng (Pan American International Insurance Warrens), Keefe Birkett, John Jones, Kregg Jones, Mark Bridgeman, Ricardo Jemmott, (Lumber Company Lakers), Romaine Lovell (St John’s Sonics) Jeremy Gill, Junior Moore, Derion Hurley, Charles Vanderpool, Ian Alexander, Ramon Simmons, Zahir Motara (KFC Orange 3 Pinelands) Darren Hunte, Joel Hunte, Jamai Puckerin, Granville Gittens, Saeed Norville (Station Hill Cavaliers), George Haynes, Andre Lockhart, Jabar Williams (overseas based).


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