Jamaican Gill cops two NCAA conference awards
Despite the collegiate basketball season coming to an abrupt end as a result of the coronavirus plaguing the United States, Jamaican basketballer Romaro Gill managed to win two regular season awards in his senior season.
The seven-foot, two-inch centre from St Thomas, who plays for Seton Hall University in the Big East Conference, took home the division’s Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player of the Year awards, which were announced on Monday.
Gill was honoured on Senior Night in the team’s final regular season game against Creighton last Saturday, and basketball scout Michael Minto, who discovered Gill and has mentored him since his collegiate journey, says that the accolades were a testament to the extra work put in throughout the year.
“I told him that all this extra work will pay off soon, because hard work is a remedy for success. And now he is the first Seton Hall player to receive these two prestigious awards. I am so proud of him, and the sky’s the limit for him,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.
Seton Hall were expected to compete in the quarter-finals of the Big East Championship this week as the third seed, but the tournament was cancelled due to heightened concerns of the coronavirus which has had increasing numbers in the United States. The confirmation of a positive case in the NBA on Wednesday and the league’s subsequent indefinite suspension led the NCAA to cancel both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments on Thursday, three days before selection Sunday, in which Seton Hall were projected to be highly seeded for the 64-team tournament.
Gill finished the regular season averaging 7.8 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and a league high 3.2 blocks per game, helping the Seton Hall Pirates to a 21-9 overall record and a share of the Conference regular season title with Creighton University and Villanova University with similar winning conference records (13-5).
For Minto, it was not only Gill’s success on the court that impressed him, but his dedication to his academics.
“I was more happy for Romaro to see that another kid from Jamaica complete the task not just on the basketball court, but also in the classroom. He’s one of the top academic students playing basketball at this level,” he said.