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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 9 - Friday, October 19, 2001
Dominican Youth Pursue Basketball Greatness
Youth Exhibit Natural Residue of Athletic Talent

by: Thomson Fontaine

When I grew up in Dominica not too long ago, I seemed to recall that all the students my age were about my height—you know, about 5 feet eleven inches, maybe 6 feet, or at most 6 feet three inches.

Then cable television came to Dominica and with it Michael Jordan and American basketball. And guess what, the kids started to grow. Now they grow to 6 feet 8 inches and sometimes more than 7 feet. Okay, I’m kidding, cable TV had nothing to do with it, but the fact is they’re growing taller.

This phenomena coupled with a natural residue of athletic talent in our youth has resulted in several Dominicans gaining basketball scholarships to US universities. Some put the number as high as a dozen.

An absolutely remarkable feat when you consider the wealth of resident American talent and the cut-throat competition to get into a college basketball program and hopefully move on to the National Basketball Association (NBA), with its resulting millions.

Consider Garth Joseph, who at 7 feet 2 inches and 315 pounds made it all the way to the NBA. Born in Tarish Pit, Roseau in 1973, he played college basketball at St. Rose University and was selected by the Toronto Raptors for the 2000-2001 season. He was later traded to the Denver Nuggets, and will play with them this season.

Then there is Sylvere Bryan of Portsmouth (6 feet 11 inches; 230 pounds) in his senior year at the University of Tampa. Last season, he was largely credited for taking his team to the National Collegiate Association (NCAA) South Regional finals and for advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time.

He was named on the first team all-Sunshine State Conference and was the league’s player-of-the-month in February of this year. He was elected to the Elite Eight all-Tourney team when he scored 23 points including four-for-four from the 3-point line and recording 14 rebounds and five blocks in a single game.

Everyone who has seen him play agrees that the freshman for the University of Louisville Otis George has what it takes to get him to the next level.

This year Otis will begin playing for one of the top schools in college basketball under legendary coach Rick Pitino. The Louisville Cardinals have won basketball top spot—the National Championships twice—in 1980 and again in 1986. This year 13 of their games will be broadcast to a National audience on Fox, ESPN, CBS and ABC, giving him an opportunity to demonstrate his talents before millions of viewers.

Born in Roseau May 7, 1982, and son of Marcella Green and Peter George, Otis stands at 6 feet 8 inches and weighs 195 pounds. He played high school basketball in Florida and helped his school to a 16-2 record and a top five national ranking last year.

Although he’s only played basketball for 3 years, he was named the most improved player on his senior year in high school. Otis is fortunate to be coached by arguably the best coach in college basketball.

Rick Pitino chose the University of Louisville to make his comeback to college coaching. Last season he ended his NBA coaching career with the Boston Celtics after helping them to rebuild.

During his years in the NBA, he was also head coach at the New York Knicks for 2 seasons. He has also coached the Kentucky Wildcats to 3 National titles and four NCAA Final four appearances.

Volume No. 1 Issue No. 21
Dominica Faces Structural Adjustment
Rosie Douglas Foundation Donates over $150,000
Dominican Artist Exhibits Exquisite Work
The Roseau Cooperative Credit Union
Analysis of Events at Home
West Indies Cricket on the Rebound

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