Sixty basketball players were drafted into the P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL).
The draft party was held on Saturday, July 9 at the Ribbiz Ultra Lounge in Barbican, Kingston Jamaica.
Players from Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Barbados, Ghana, and the UK were drafted into the league into four teams; Elite 1 Red, Elite 1 Blue, Elite 1 Black, and Elite 1 White.
They will compete in the much anticipated E1CBL Summer Season which will be held at the National Arena in Kington, Jamaica from August 13-20. The summer league will inaugurate the fall pro season which will run for 6-8 weeks from October to December 2022.
Elite 1 Red team which is headed by Alph Remekie consists of; Nicholai Brown, O’Wayne Lawrence, Anthony White, Kasheef Clarke, Antjuan McFarlane, Rasheed Maynard, Troy Grant, Bobby Gray, Jayden Coke, Rachad Hall, Marquis Ellison, Andre Barrow, Fabian Sutherlan, Adrian Mike and Oshane Daley.
Members of Elite 1 Blue which is headed by coach Phil Edwards are; David Gordon
Dave Black, Jaedon Lawe, Patrick Robinson, Adeeb Vernon, Leslie Kormedoda, Chase Audige, Almond Brewer, Brandon Tuggle, Darius Sawyer, Anthony Ottley, Dane Smith, Rasheed Hammond, Romaine Thomas, and Tyreese Williams.
Coach Jim Brunelli heads Elite 1 Black team and its members are; Nadjrick Peat, Joel Bailey, Daniel Martillier, Derjean Royal, Calvin Malcolm, Isayas Aris, Drelan Tripplett, Cameron Burhannon, Kameron Small, Cameron Levise, Samuel Atiapah, Lynford Brown, Odane Clahar, Mustapha Salim, Fabian Kennedy.
Elite 1 White is headed by coach Rohon Robinson, its players are; Lushane Wilson, Nick-caro Golding, D’Andre Forbes, Roman Parkes, Alex Levy, Andre Arissol, Xander Bowers, Gemaal Davis, Dylan Walker, Joseph Quarty, Ryan Wright, Taevaunn Prince, Theo Thomas, Stefan Whittingham, and Keric Davis.
Nicholai Brown, David Gordon, Lushane Wilson, Nadjrick Peat were the first Jamaica picks for their teams respectively. While, Leslie Kormedoda, Andre Arrisol, Isayas Aris, and Rasheed Maynard were the first international picks.
“It felt great being the first draft pick, I was elated. And the atmosphere made it exciting, being there with fellow ball players made the whole experience remarkable,” 28-year-old Nicholai Brown said.
The draft’s second pick, 21-year-old small forward David Gordon said shared his excitement at being drafted.
“It’s a wonderful feeling words cannot explain knowing that all your hard work is finally bearing some fruit and to be able to be an ambassador for the first E1CBL and to make a change for basketball in Jamaica and the Caribbean on a whole, it’s a wonderful feeling,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jamaican national player, Anthony White said he thoroughly enjoyed his first draft experience. “It was a great experience and all-around great vibe. My team got the steal of the draft with me. I am just super excited to get started,” he said. White will be playing for the Red team.
The E1CBL’s Mission
It is the E1CBL’s mission to create a competitive pro basketball league in the Caribbean to increase the opportunity for consistent high-level competition, professional growth, and paid opportunities.
CEO of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy, Wayne Dawkins said the drafted players represent the future of Caribbean basketball.
“We are excited about the group of players who were selected. These are players with national team and professional experience and people with strong resumes and strong playing experience are exactly what we need to get the E1CBL started off. These players will set a very high bar for where we want to take the E1CBL,” he said.
He explained that hosting a draft party for the athletes was very strategic as it helps to boost the players’ confidence and cement their professionalism.
“This draft experience for local players means everything. They give so much to the game and then sit back and watch on TV as other leagues around the world have their draft and players are being rewarded for all their time and effort and they finally get a chance to experience that,” he said.
Dawkins said the E1CBL will allow for Jamaica and the Caribbean by extension to start benefitting fully from its pool of talented basketball players.
Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Basketball Association, Paulton Gordon hailed the inaugural draft party experience as the first step in the evolution of Caribbean basketball.
“Most of them have not experienced this before and so it sets the stage for them to see what transitioning into a professional league looks like. This is just the first step in creating the framework for them to evolve to the next level,” he said.
The E1CBL is the Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season and is in partnership with the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), and Ribbiz Ultra Lounge.