Youth basketball player to hoop in Italy, six others commit to US schools

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From left, Jaden Andrew, Darren Knowles, Devonte McDonald, Lopez Adams, Jamine Charles, Rhonde Davis, Jevonte Valerie, Shalom Bloodman)
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by Carlena Knight

One youth basketballer will be plying his trade in Europe.

Jaden Andrew will travel to Bassano del Grapo in Italy to play with the Orange1 Basket Bassano club and will become the first Caribbean player to be a part of this elite academy.

The announcement was made on Sunday on the final day of the Wadadli Elite Exposure Camp by President of the Wadadli Elite Academy, Jaden’s father, Byron Andrew.

Byron gave additional details on the signing on Monday on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show.

“He has gotten offers from some schools but that isn’t what he wanted. So, what happened, a team in Italy saw videos of him and invited him last month to come to Italy for tryouts and they were just totally in love with him and they said they want him to come immediately; so that is where he is going to be for a year,” Byron explained.

“When he is finished the year, he will decide at that point if he wants to go pro or if he wants to go back to America to the NCAA but, as he said, he will cross that bridge when he will get there,” he added.

The 17-year-old has also played in the domestic league for Wadadli Elites and in the business league competition for Eye Mobile Vision Care.

Andrew is not the only the junior baller who will be going overseas to play basketball, as six other athletes have committed to schools in the US.

Jevonte Valerie and Rhonde Davis have committed to Monroe College, while Devonte McDonald and Darren Knowles will attend Lead Academy in Pensacola, Florida.

Barbudan, Jamine Charles will attend Blinn College in Texas and Shalom Bloodman, Genesse College.

All seven players are a part of the Wadadli Elites Academy and participated in the exposure camp last weekend at JSC.

Barbudan Lopez Adams was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and he also electrified the crowd at JSC to win the slam dunk competition.

Jaden Andrew was the three-point shoot-out winner and Dominick Anthony the Under-16 MVP.

Tasia Luke was the Female MVP.

The overall camp was deemed a success by President Andrew.

He mentioned that there is a plethora of talent in the nation and, echoing the sentiments of both overseas coaches, called on the relevant parties saying, “we all have to work together to help the youth”.

Young basketball players between the ages of 12 and 25 were given the opportunity to impress at least two US-based coaches during the three-day Exposure Camp put on by Wadadli Elite Basketball.

Jonathan Weekes, a high school coach in New York and a professional basketball player agent, along with Jermelle ‘Speedy’ Fraser who coaches college basketball in New York, conducted the high-intensity camp.

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