Thursday, 01 February 2024 12:44

Jamaica College are Corporate Area Schoolboy Basketball Champions

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Jamaica College on Monday morning January 29, 2024 was a scene of great jubilation as the school celebrated its victory over Wolmers Boys School on Friday January 26, 2024 to become the ISSA Under-19 Urban Area Basketball Champions.

 JC defeated Wolmer’s 69-63 in the third and deciding game of the three match finals at the Mico University College (Wolmer’s home ground).

JC’s victory was made even more spectacular because they had come back from a 21 point deficit in game two to tie the series and force the deciding game three. After trailing behind in the series, they staged a remarkable comeback in the second game, overturning a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. This set the stage for the thrilling decider where JC led from the front, showcasing both their basketball prowess and mental fortitude.

The Duane Cunningham coached Old Hope Road Champions led all the way in what was a closely contested match, with scores of 18-15 at the end of the first quarter; 31-30 at half time; and 47-45 at the end of the third quarter. They then pulled away in the fourth quarter for the eventual 69-63 win.

Standout player Dakarai Nicholson led the scoring for JC with 23 points, while Captain Xavier Keyes scored 22.

This was the first time in 15 years that the True Blues were winning the coveted urban area schoolboy basketball title, and they now turn their sights to the All- Island competition so this victory is particularly important to JC.

Coach Cunningham expressed his relief and pride in the team’s performance. “ Its been over 15 years since JC has won the Under 19. It’s not how soon you get to the top, it’s important you get thereand get there in your time. It wasn’t easy, but we had a game plan and executed it perfectly. This win is a legacy for JC, a testament to the hard work and dedication of these young athletes,” he remarked.

The players echoed this sentiment, acknowledging the importance of listening to their coach and executing the game plan. The journey to the top was challenging but ultimately rewarding.

With the urban area championship now secured, JC’s focus shifts to the all-island competition. The team’s growth and development, from their first foray into basketball to this significant achievement, are a source of immense pride for the coaches, management team, and parents who have been instrumental in supporting the players every step of the way.

Captain Xavier Keyes praised the brilliance of coach Cunningham, while the coach hailed his players for their resilience and their parents for their unstinting, ever present, support. Similarly too did Dakari Nicholson, Lead Scorer saying “We had a game plane and an exceptional coach, Coach Cunningham, he knows what he is doing”.

At the celebratory assembly on Monday January 29, 2024, Principal Wayne Robinson lauded the parents and hailed the champion team as true exemplars of the fighting heart of Jamaica College. Board Chairman Lance Hylton exhorted the general school body to use the "never say die" spirit of the basketball team as an inspiration in their school and daily lives. Speaking on behalf of JC Old Boys Association President Kirk Kennedy who was off the Island, he also praised the team, coach and parents for bringing joy and pride to old boys everywhere. The Chairman’s announcement of rewards for the coach and players was met with tumultuous applause from the packed assembly hall.

The team now turns its attention to the All Island Competition.