Sun | Aug 20, 2017

McCormack delighted with MVP nod

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Jadeja McCormack

St George's College avenged their ISSA Southern Conference Under-16 basketball final defeat to St Catherine High in the All-Island final at G.C. Foster on Tuesday, and one of the most critical performances of the day was that of tournament MVP, Jadeja McCormack.

Jordon Gilles might have led the North Street school with 17 points followed by Samora Williams with 13 and Nathan Reid with 10 points. However, it was the overall contribution of McCormack that really made the difference.

The point guard only bagged eight points, but his rebounds, steals and ability to control the tempo of the game made the young player an invaluable asset for the defending under-16 champions, and he credits the hard work that he puts in as the reason for his success this season.

"We wake up five o' clock to train and finish at 9 a.m. to 10 (a.m.). Then I would play some pick up ball with (Arnett Rockers) D 1 players. I will be the first one in at training most of the time, and I work hard in the gym, run, and do what I have to do. The hard work has paid off," he told The Gleaner after helping his team defeat St Catherine.

HAPPY FOR WIN

"I am pleased and happy, too, because to work so hard and not come out with anything would have been disappointing, so I am glad we won and I won (MVP)," he added.

He admitted he had his difficulties through this season and credit his team for helping him through the tough times.

"Some games, I lost focus, but my teammates and coaches helped me pick up, and I thank them for that," he said.

"I take this (sport) very seriously, and sometimes, my mother would tell me to stop playing, she says that I will damage myself, but I love basketball. I don't love anything more than it, other than my family. I dream of playing in the NBL, and I am working hard to make that dream come true. Next I would like play college ball or for a (US) Division One league until I can work my way to the top," he said.

St George's coach Clifford Brown thought McCormack's all round contribution was indispensable and vital to their success this season.

"His performance was stellar. His ball control, his ability to manage the game, he manages a lot of steals and converts on free throws. He plays good defence, he heeds instruction and he followed the mandate given to him. He is the point guard and he is supposed to run the team, and that's what he did," Brown commented.

- L.S.