US collegiate star strengths female basketball team
-local contingent departs today for Antigua
By Edison Jefford
United States-based collegiate basketball star, guard, Shauntelle Nelson, has become available to compete with Guyana’s female national basketball team in the Annual Gillian Brazier Basketball Shoot-Out that will be held during March 14-18 in St. Johns, Antigua.
In a brief comment from her base in the US, Guyana’s Women Basketball Association (GWBA) President, Michaela Burnett revealed that Nelson, who conducted a clinic in Guyana in 2010, has been added to the local team for the established regional competition.
Nelson tried out with the Los Angeles Sparks last year after a successful collegiate season, which made her one of the top players in New York. She attended the Medgar Evers College, which is a subsidiary of the well-known City University of New York.
She is expected to bring tons of experience and leadership to a team that is an interesting mixture of youth and experience. Antigua-based, Nyota Peters and veteran, Nichola Jacobs are among the experienced players that will be providing support for Nelson.
The team left Guyana early this morning to compete against CPTSA Wings, Antigua select team,
defending champions, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and St. Kitts. Guyana last competed in the competition in 2009. Burnett said the purpose is completely developmental.
Junior national guards, Lowquantor Gibson and Tamara Hunter will play alongside the renowned Nelson, which is an opportunity for them to hone their skills; the duo coupled with Sonia Rodney and Timike Joseph-Derouche will form part of the team’s main offence.
Burnett told this newspaper that the Washington D.C Jammers came in at last minute, and helped the team financially. Burnett noted that the Jammers contribution along with the sponsorship and fund raising efforts of the association made the Antigua tour possible.
The full squad includes: Natasha Alder (Forward); Panika Alphonso (Guard); Shenary Benn (Centre); Lowquantor Gibson (Guard); Tamara Hunter (Forward); Ginelle Ifill (Centre); Nichola Jacobs (Forward/Centre); Sheron Jerome (Forward/Centre); Timike Joseph-Derouche (Guard/Forward); Shauntelle Nelson (Guard/Forward); Nyota Peters (Forward); Sonia Rodney (Guard) Shakelia; Sampson (Forward). Head Coach: Bernard Daniels; Manager: Leona Kyte; Facilitator: Michaela Burnett.