Above: rising star Buddy Hield
The Caribbean may love cricket and football, but the region is increasingly producing top basketball players, from the Dominican Republic’s Al Horford to NBA legend and St Croix native Tim Duncan. And you don’t have to look any further than the NCAA Tournament, where six Caribbean-born players are participating. Here they are, including Nassau native Kadeem Coleby, who helped the Wichita State Shockers to a 34-0 regular season record and rising star Buddy Hield, a sophomore for Oklahoma.
Buddy Hield — Freeport, Grand Bahama
The 6’4” native of Grand Bahama is a sophomore for the Oklahoma Sooners, and has had a stellar year, averaging 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Kadeem Coleby — Nassau, Bahamas
The 6’9” senior was born in Nassau, Bahamas, went to Christian Life Center Academy and attended Louisiana-Lafayette before transferring to Wichita State. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game this year.
Kentan Facey — Trelawny, Jamaica
The 6’9” freshman was a strong prospect after playing high school ball in New York State (after growing up playing cricket and soccer in Jamaica). Now he’s helping the University of Connecticut Huskies with their NCAA hopes, after a season in which he averaged 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds.
Miguel Cartagena — Aibonito, Puerto Rico
The 6-foot freshman guard attended high school at Florida’s Monteverde Academy and then averaged 1.1 points per game and 0.4 rebounds per game.
Tristian Curtis — Nassau, Bahamas
The 6’7” sophomore hails from Nassau and plays for Coastal Carolina’s Chanticleers. He averaged 1.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this year.
Antonin Galaya — Terres-Basses, St Martin
The soon-to-be 22-year-old is a native of the French side of St Martin; he averaged 1.3 points per game and 0.9 rebounds per game this year for the North Carolina Central Eagles.