Jamaica’s Fernandez signs NBA deal - Former Calabar High star inks signature with Miami Heat
Former Calabar High School star basketballer Vashil Fernandez has signed a contract to play for the Miami Heat in this season's National Basketball Association (NBA) championship in the United States of America.
The Heat announced the signing of Fernandez yesterday, but did not disclose the terms of the deal, citing club policy.
The 24-year-old Fernandez is the all-time leading shot blocker at Valparaiso University, playing all four seasons with the Crusaders and appearing in 131 games.
The 6'10" Fernandez last represented the Jamaica senior team at the Tournament of Americas in Venezuela in 2013.
President of the Jamaica Basketball Association, Dr Mark Broomfield, said he is elated with Fernandez's achievement and expects him to do well in the NBA.
"I know where Fernandez is coming from because he has worked hard, and so he deserves to be where he is at now," said Broomfield.
"It's also good to see a basketball player coming out of our high-school system and signing for a team in the NBA, because it augurs well for the development of basketball in Jamaica," he said.
"This goes to show that we have the talent here in Jamaica, but we just need the support to help our players to get to the next level," Broomfield said.
Fernandez averaged 4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and two blocks while shooting 54 per cent from the field during his collegiate career.
As a senior, he led the National Collegiate Athletic Association in blocks per game and was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Fernandez, who finished his career with 289 blocks, will wear the number 14 jersey for the Heat.
Former Jamaica College star Jerome Jordan is the last local player to suit up for an NBA team. Jordan, who plays centre, represented the Brooklyn Nets in 2015.