JAMAICA’S former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, Simone Edwards, says the future of her Simone4Children Foun-dation’s homework programme and study centre, based in Hermitage, August Town, currently hangs in the balance.The centre, which opened in 2010 and offered homework programmes to inner-city children, along with a host of other community activities, was vandalised by criminal elements and is presently not in use.However, the Escarpment Road Church saw the Foun-dation’s plight, and the pastor – at the time – gave the former national player and coach his blessings to continue the programme at the place of worship.However, a change of pastor at the church recently has seen a new plan and Edwards’ search for a new base for the programme.”In Hermitage, I got a building put up there for the homework programme. It was running and everyone was working. It’s a place where we had our homework programme, fed families, gave back-to-school supplies, tried to create scholarships and focused on self-esteem building. But what we do is mostly focus on education, but now it (building) is damaged,” said Edwards.”Last year, I went down there, and some of the bad men broke the lock off the door, stole furniture, the stove and damaged the windows. The homework programme is continuing in the church, but the last I heard is that the new pastor wanted it off the property,” she told The Gleaner.Edwards, who described cutting the ribbons to open the study centre as ‘one of the proudest moments in my life’, said since the migration of the programme’s overseer, Dean Rhoden, a few years ago, things just went downhill.PARKING LOTShe revealed that the reason for their eviction is related to plans to convert the building which housed the study centre into a parking lot, but admitted she is still seeking a meeting with the pastor.”I am hoping they have a change of heart, so we are waiting to see if they are really going to do that. I don’t know where else to move it to, as the pastor before told us it was OK for it to be there,” Edwards lamented.”But I haven’t spoken to anybody as yet, so I don’t know what we are going to do. I was trying to have a meeting with the pastor. So I am going to see the pastor, but if he tells me I have to move, then I will try to find a good place to do my programme and have it permanent instead of running up and down,” she insisted, noting that the original building would be ideal.”I like where it is because it’s easier access. At the top (of community) was convenient, so I guess I will have to talk to the people in the community to get guarantees that no one can touch it,” she added.The Simone4children Foun-dation was formed in 2006 to assist the less fortunate, build worthwhile citizens and help others achieve their goals. Her Foundation established the computerised study centre in December 2010. It held treats, fed hundreds of persons and gave gifts to children.She also copped the 2010 AD Astra Award, delivered by the Immaculate Conception High School’s New York Chapter to Jamaicans who have excelled in their field over a period of time.
Jamaica Scorpions captain Paul Palmer Jr does not believe the loss against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes should been seen as a huge defeat given that the Eastern Caribbean outfit has a number of good players in their line-up.The Leewards, bottom of the six-team tournament, defeated Jamaica – who sat in third position heading into the contest – by 85 runs at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua at the weekend, in the sixth round of the WICB Regional First-Class Championship.”I wouldn’t say it’s a big loss,” said Palmer Jr, shortly after the team’s return yesterday.”The team is in transition, so it will never be easy to win games continuously or to come out on top in every game.”Likewise, the teams playing in this competition are good teams with quality players.”I just think Leeward Islands played better on the day than us. That is all.”Asked to bat first, the Hurricanes were bundled out for 155 in their first innings, to which the Scorpions replied with 158.368 FOR EIGHTSpearheaded by an unbeaten knock of 130 by wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton and 72 from opener Montcin Hodge, the Nkrumah Bonner-captained Leewards went on to post 368 for eight in their second time at bat.Set a victory target of 365, Jamaica were dismissed for 280, despite a defiant knock of 93 by Kirk Edwards.Top Jamaican batsmen Jermaine Blackwood, Devon Thomas, Andre McCarthy and John Campbell, made 21, 15, 22 and eight, respectively, in the victory chase.The defeat represented revenge for the Leewards, who lost at Sabina Park in the first half of the tournament.It was also the second time in as many matches the Scorpions were losing away to the Hurricanes, having suffered defeated in St Kitts and Nevis last season.”We know what we did wrong,” highlighted Paul Palmer Jr, whose wretched run of form continued in the match with scores of one and 15.”We know the mistakes we made. We identified them, (primarily) in the second innings where we dropped catches.”Hamilton, who made a hundred, he was dropped twice, on 30-odd (off Nikita Miller) and 40-odd (off Sheldon Cottrell), and we paid the price dearly.”The other guy (Hodge), who made 70-odd, he was also dropped on 40-odd.”If we had taken those chances, more than likely they would not have got up to such a huge total.”Jamaica, with the loss, is all but out of the title race with four rounds of matches remaining. They will play Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Sabina Park, starting on Friday.
JOHANNESBURG (AP): Australia chased down 204 in a thrilling last-ball victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international yesterday to level the three-game series at 1-1. Australia’s chase was powered by a brilliant partnership of 161 between David Warner, who made 77 off 40 balls, and Glenn Maxwell, who got 75 off 43. The pair took Australia from 32-3 to 193-4. Maxwell fell in the penultimate over and Warner was out first ball of the last over, leaving new batsmen Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner to get 11 off the final five balls to win. Helped by two wides in that last over from Kagiso Rabada, the Australians scrambled home to 205-5, running two off the last delivery to clinch a victory that appeared way out of their reach at 32-3 in the sixth over.
West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor said though he only played in one of six matches in the just-concluded ICC World Twenty20 World Cup in India, he is more than elated that the team was able to recapture the crown.”It’s a team effort, and a win is a win,” he said, shortly after the arrival of the Jamaican members of the team on Tuesday in Kingston.”We knew when we left here (the Caribbean) that all 15 of us could not play at the same time.”The nature of the wickets called for adjustments to be made, and the selectors chose horses for courses,” he added.Taylor, who claimed none for 30 off three overs in the team’s tournament-opening six-wicket win over England, also explained that the decisions taken were supported by team members.”It (to leave him out) was a team decision, as both players, management and everyone, we took unto ourselves to say that if that’s the best case, then go with whatever decisions are made.”The 31-year-old, who said his focus would now turn to the upcoming Caribbean Tri-Nation series, involving Australia and South Africa, as well as the planned Test tour by India, also gave insight as to what the feeling was like in the players’ dressing room in the last over of the final.Needing a challenging 19 runs off the over with the previously unheralded all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who made 34 not out off just 10 balls, smashed four sixes off the first four deliveries to seal the win at 161 for six.England had earlier made 155 for nine.”For me, it was never over until the fat lady sings,” Taylor said.”We had some guys, who were feeling down and out by the moment. But we had guys, like myself, who was still pretty optimistic, this knowing the power hitters that we had at the wicket in Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, who were set at the time and striking the ball pretty well.”He said he was happy to have played a part in making the Caribbean proud.”The way the guys turned up and put the team and the people of the Caribbean in front was brilliant,” he said.- J. L.
KINGSTON: Young basketballers from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) showed tremendous skill and class during the Digicel Jumpstart Clinics, which visited the island for the first time this week. As the aspiring young players ran up and down the court at a frenetic pace, the official NBA coaches were impressed by the athletes’ level of technical ability and basketball IQ. “The boys were smart, fast and very athletic. They played a fast-paced style offense, but were still technically sound and kept to their fundamentals,” said senior director of international basketball operations at the NBA, Troy Justice. He added: “The point guards were instinctive and distributed the ball all around the court. We were impressed.” The local basketball coaches in the BVI were also given an opportunity to learn and share ideas with the NBA coaches. “It’s always good to share ideas with other coaches,” Justice commented. “The coaches were open to learning new ideas, both offensively and defensively. I also bounced some ideas off them and learnt a bit myself. It was my pleasure working with them.” The Digicel Jumpstart Clinic is a once in a lifetime opportunity for young players to showcase their talent and learn from official NBA coaches. It also teaches importance of work ethic, values, proper sports-manship and motivates children to be the best they can be on and off the court.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC):Superstar Chris Gayle headlines nine West Indian players set to participate in the Bangladesh Premier League starting next month, following Thursday’s player draft here.The left-handed Gayle will turn out for Barisal Bulls alongside all-rounder Kevon Cooper and left-handed batsman Evin Lewis, both of whom hail from Trinidad and Tobago.Gayle said following the Caribbean Twenty20 back in July that he was expected to undergo surgery to deal with a troublesome back and may have to be out of action until December.While he has not retired from Tests, he has not played one since last year September.Sammy for RangpurMeanwhile, West Indies Twenty20 skipper Darren Sammy will play for Rangpur Riders alongside West Indies batsman, Lendl Simmons, while Test batsman Marlon Samuels, along with the trio of off-spinner Sunil Narine, left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie and fast-bowling all-rounder AndrÈ Russell, will play for Comilla Victorians.The West Indians are part of 19 overseas players in the tournament scheduled to run from November 22 to December 15.Overall, 82 players will represent six franchises.Notably absent are marquee West Indies players Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, two of the most in-demand T20 players in the world.
GEELONG, Australia (CMC):Middle order batsman Jermaine Blackwood said he almost lost concentration as he was forced to battle extreme heat on his way to a polished half century for West Indies against Victoria X1 on the first day of their two-day tour match yesterday.Blackwood compiled a well-played 69 to bolster his confidence after scoring a couple of ducks in the first Test as West Indies amassed 303 for eight at Simonds Stadium.The diminutive Jamaican batsman, who scored seven fours and a six, said it was the first time he experienced such extreme heat as temperatures soared to 43 degrees, one of the hottest days on record in the history of Australia.”It was extremely hot out there … dry heat. Even when the wind came across the ground, it was a kind of hot wind. I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Blackwood.”We’ve played in hot, sticky conditions, but never quite like that.”Blackwood added 99 runs for the third wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who top-scored with 78 from 175 deliveries in the first two sessions before retiring to give the rest of his teammates a chance at the wicket.Marlon Samuels struck an aggressive 45 from 39 balls including seven fours. Denesh Ramdin scored 38, while opener Rajindra Chandrika chipped in with 28.”I was quite tired after running some threes. It’s a big ground, so we had to run a few threes. At one point, I felt like I was losing concentration, so you had to dig deep for every ball,” said Blackwood.”I had to put that behind me and just focus on each ball. We got some starts. We just need to convert those starts now.”Blackwood added: “This is international cricket and we will face different conditions. It was cold (in Tasmania) for the first Test and now it’s hot here. It’s all about coping.”West Indies are using the match as part of their preparation for the second Test match at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting Boxing Day.”We’ll just have to go back into the nets and continue to work hard,” he said.”We’re just putting in the work and hopefully it will pay off in the next Test match.”
SCARBOROUGH, Tobago (CMC):Left-hander Evin Lewis struck his maiden regional one-day hundred as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force put themselves on the verge of a semi-final spot with a dominant seven-wicket win over Jamaica Scorpions in the Regional Super50 here yesterday.Playing at Shaw Park, Red Force restricted Scorpions to 176 all out off 49.4 overs and then easily chased down their target off 38.5 overs, with Lewis carving out 102 before retiring hurt.He posted an entertaining 148 for the first wicket with Barbadian Kyle Hope, who made 43, a partnership that killed off the game as a contest and negated any ideas Scorpions had of making a comeback.Lewis faced 102 deliveries and smashed eight fours and six sixes, while the right-handed Hope supported in a knock that came from 82 deliveries and included three fours.Antiguan Devon Thomas had earlier top-scored with 70, while Brandon King got 32 as Scorpions rallied to their eventual score after slumping to 41 for four in the 19th over.Jon Ros Jagessar hurt the innings with a spell of four for 32, while fellow off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine claimed three for 34.The victory ensured Red Force remained unbeaten and it stretched their lead at the top of Group A, where they sit with 17 points.Scorpions remained second on 10 points, with third-placed Barbados Pride poised to narrow the gap, once they beat ICC Americas in the other Group A encounter, which ended last night.SCOREBOARDSCORPIONS*J Campbell c Lewis b Deonarine 17J Harrison b Emrit 6J Blackwood c Lewis b Deonarine 10A McCarthy c Richards b Deonarine 6D Thomas run out 70B King c Y Ottley b Hosein 32+A Thomas c Hope b Jagessar 14S Cottrell not out 13N Miller c Hope b J Jagessar 0D Jacobs st Katwaroo b Jagessar 3N Gordon st Katwaroo b Jagessar 3Extras (w2) 2TOTAL (all out, 49.4 overs) 176Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-29, 3-34, 4-41, 5-85, 6-150, 7-158, 8-160, 9-166, 10-176.Bowling: Emrit 10-1-37-1, Jagessar 8.4-0-32-4 (w2), Deonarine 10-0-34-3, Hosein 7-2-31-1, Y Ottley 8-0-26-0.RED FORCEE Lewis ret. hurt 102K Hope c Jacobs b McCarthy 43K Ottley c Thomas b Jacobs 4*J Mohammed lbw b McCarthy 3N Deonarine not out 8Y Ottley not out 10Extras (b2, lb2, w3) 7TOTAL (3 wkts, 38.5 overs) 177Did not bat: R Emrit, A Hosein, +S Katwaroo, J Jagessar, Imran Khan.Fall of wickets: 1-156, 2-166, 3-166.Bowling: Cottrell 5-1-22-0 (w1), Gordon 1-0-8-0 (w1), Miller 6-0-44-0 (w1), Campbell 10-1-40-0, Jacobs 10-1-40-1, McCarthy 6.5-1-19-2.Result: Red Force won seven wickets.Points: Red Force 5, Scorpions 0.Man-of-the-Match: Evin Lewis.Toss: Scorpions.Umpires: L Reifer, N Shivsankar.
“We had a great night and everyone is happy” gushed Wray and Nephew Welterweight Contender 2016 promoter Mark Kenny, to The Sunday Gleaner last Wednesday night, after American boxer DeMarcus Corley gave an excellent performance, that not only pleased the large crowd that turned up at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, but also gave him a unanimous decision over, Guyanese boxer Iwan Azore. This was the second night of competition in the series which will run until July. The first week’s edition was one of the worst in many years, as the main bout between Jamaican Richard “Frog” Holmes and Xzaviar Ford from New Orleans, USA, ended in 55 seconds. Ford, a plucky 19 -year- old boxer, suffered a torn tendon in his right shoulder only 55 seconds after the fight started, and was declared the loser by technical knockout. Everyone, including the two boxers, left the auditorium disappointed. Last Wednesday saw the opposite. The fight, which was scheduled for five rounds, went the distance, and Corley was declared the winner by unanimous decision. All three judges, Joseph Cooper, Eion Jardine and Laurence Neufville scored the fight 50-44 in his favour. It was a classic matching of boxing skills, between two very experienced men, and there was just enough of all facets of the “Sweet Science” to please the fans. Corley showed the boxing and defensive skills that he has garnered over 70 fights. He had a 43- 26 -1 record going into the fight and it showed. Boxing from a southpaw stance, he outjabbed Azore, the Guyanese welterweight champion, who had a 16-5-3 record, and when the game Guyanese fighter tried to score points with attacks to the body and head, Corley deftly manoeuvred himself out of trouble. The pattern was set from the first round with Corley repeatedly scoring points with his jabs. He also showed great defensive skills, as he repeatedly slipped counter punches from Azore, with deft movements of head and feet. In the second round, combination hooks to the body and head were the punches of choice for Corley, while Azore kept himself in the hunt with his jabs. In the two amateur bouts on the card, middleweight Carlton Reid from the St. Thomas Boxing Club scored a unanimous decision over Oshane Williams from Sugar Olympic gym, while light welterweight Collel Hogg from the Stanley Couch gym, scored a first round technical knockout victory over Nashan Rose from Sugar Olympic gym.
SEEKING TO IMPROVE ROME, Italy: Young Jamaican hurdler Janeive Russell faces another tough test as she hunts her second straight win on the Diamond League circuit against a strong field at today’s Golden Gala Diamond League stop in Rome, which includes circuit standout Kaliese Spencer among the threats. Elaine Thompson lines up in the women’s 100m, with Kimberly Williams shaking off a hamstring injury to join Shanieka Thomas in the women’s triple jump, while World Championships finalist Federick Dacres, in the discus, and national record holder Rusheen McDonald, in the 400m, sign off Jamaica’s involvement in the meeting, set for Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. Wayde van Niekerk, the world champion over 400m, will also make his first major appearance in the event this season after posting 44.11 at a small South African meet almost a month ago, and American Justin Gatlin returns to the scene of his only victory over Usain Bolt in the 100m, looking for his fourth straight win of the season. After turning back a strong field at the Rabat Diamond League a few weeks ago, Russell, who comes into this meet as the second-fastest woman in the world over the 400m hurdles, with a time of 54.16, will face another challenge this time around. The 22-year-old will face four-time Diamond race winner in the event and Commonwealth champion Spencer, with world leader Georgeanne Moline and fellow early season pacesetters Eilidh Child, Cassandra Tate, and Wenda Theron Nel all present for what should be an explosive contest. Spencer is coming off a second-place finish at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on May 20 and will be hoping to improve her times, with a modest 55.02 seconds being her best mark coming into this race. Thompson, who had a positive opening to her 200m campaign at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last weekend with a 22.16 third-place finish, will look to continue her unbeaten start in the 100m, where English Gardner – the winner in Eugene – Michelle-Lee Ahye and Barbera Pierre will provide the main challenge. In her twelve 100m runs since the beginning of 2015, Thompson has only suffered two losses – both of them being second-place finishes. Two Jamaicans will contest the women’s triple jump with Williams, who had to skip the Doha Diamond League because of a hamstring concern. She is eager to get in the sandpit, with the National Senior Championships just a few weeks away. She will have Thomas for company, but they will both have to find something special to stop runaway Diamond Race leader Caterine Ibarguen, who is the only woman in the field to have already jumped over 15 metres this season. Dacres, whose 68.02m makes him the fourth-best man in the discus this season, will make his Diamond League, debut with world leader Piotr Malachowski (68.15m) being the only man lining up against him to have bettered his distance this year. McDonald has looked nothing like the man who ran 43.93 seconds at the World Championships since that first round run and has started the season in pretty poor condition, with fifth-, seventh- and eighth-place finishes and a pedestrian 45.90 seconds being his best efforts to date. Today, he faces world champion van Niekerk, with Isaac Makwala and Deon Lendore being the other class athletes in the field. Though not a Diamond League event here, the men’s 100m should provide some amount of interest, with Gatlin set to be tested by fellow 2016 sub-10 club members Akani Simbine and Femi Ogunode, while 100m World Championships bronze medal winner, Trayvon Brommel, faces Christophe Lemaitre, and Diamond race leader Alonso Edward in the 200m.