Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Shooting of player rocks Arnett basketball team

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2016 | 6:00 AMLivingston Scott

Arnett Gardens Rockers basketball club is presently in grief following the shooting of one of its players in the community on Saturday.

Reports reaching The Gleaner are that Oneil Richards was involved in a domestic dispute and was shot twice, in the mouth and neck.

At one point, it was believed that he had succumbed to his injuries. However, on arrival at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) it was discovered that he was still alive. Doctors stabilised him and he is now in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit on life support. The Denham Town police confirmed the shooting.

"It was very shocking for the players. When we heard he was alive it was a big relief. He is alive, and we can talk to him, even though he is not in the same shape. It's a matter of time before he starts talking because his mouth is in a bad state right now," Rockers' co-captain Vivian Spence told The Gleaner.

Richards wasn't a regular starter for the Rockers, but his contribution from the bench was significant.

"He is a very important player because he always comes off the bench and gives us 10 to 15 points, plus rebounds. He is a very hard player, so if we want to mark someone out of the game he would be the perfect man. He's a utility player and a big part of the team," Spence pointed out.

He added that they will be seeking the three-peat in honour of their injured teammate.

"It's good that Oneil did not die. If we have to see him in a wheelchair that's fine, but we didn't want him to die and have a funeral to attend.

"We are just going to play basketball the way we're used to ... and although inside we are hurting, it's good to know he is here and we will try to carry it home for him," he said.

Meanwhile, in the round of 16 best-of-three deciders on Saturday, Majesty Gardens turned back Real Lions 87-82 to level that series 1-1. Kemar McLeish led the way with 30 points, followed by Osmond Farquharson with 17 points. Havado Dunn was Majesty's top scorer with 28 points, while Mike Davis supported with 21 points and Baldon Todd 17.

Upper Room beat Portmore Flames

In the night's other game, Upper Room also levelled their series 1-1 after beating Portmore Flames 72-61 with 17 points from Gavin Duncan and 15 from Omari Green. Kenardo Smith was Flames' top scorer with 17 points.

On Sunday at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, number-one seed Pembroke Hall secured their quarter-final spot after an 80-63 win over Blazing Panthers. Andrew Whilby and Michael Jackson led the way for Pembroke Hall with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

In the other game at the venue, EXED Heat beat Swift Sons 70-57 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

At G.C. Foster College, Camperdown, with 18 points from Leslie Castle, surprised Spanish Town Spartans 81-72 to take a 1-0 lead in that series. G.C. Foster were also 66-63 winners over St George's Saints, thanks to 19 points from Michael Johnson.

At Delacree Park, the home team turned the tables with a buzzer-beater to defeat the Jamaica Defence Force by one point (61-60) to tie the series at 1-1.