By Carlena Knight
Second Vice President of the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Byron Andrew says it would be an inspirational moment if Barbudan basketballer Kevin ‘Loopy’ Samuel is drafted to the NBA.
Samuel, who plays for Texas Christian University (TCU), declared earlier this month that he will be entering the 2021 NBA Draft with college eligibility.
Andrew, who is also a coach in the local programme, said if Samuel is successful, this moment would not only positively impact the basketball fraternity, but the country on a whole.
“I always said all we need is one, just one player; one player can change the landscape of Antigua and Barbuda because what is going to happen now people are going to want to know where this Kevin Samuel came from. So, sometimes I think we underestimate the impact of sports in terms of an economic roll back,” Andrew said.
“This world we live in right now is a social media environment so you can imagine Kevin Samuel making it to the NBA and come to Antigua or Barbuda. He has thousands and thousands already and he is not in the NBA yet. So, the economic impact with people seeing where he is from, people are going to want to come here, other schools and colleges are going to want to recruit from here, so I think it is going to be an excellent opportunity for us,” he added.
Andrew spoke on Samuel’s character and wished him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
“We are really praying for him that he goes probably late first or even in the second round and making an NBA roster. I think that is the prayer for most Antiguans and Barbudans that he will make it big. He is a good kid, he is a real decent young man, very well mannered, his parents did a good job with him and it’s just now for him to land his feet on a NBA team,” Andrew mentioned.
The 75th edition of the NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on July 29th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be a live televised event.