Kwesi Mugisa, Staff Reporter
FUELLED BY a sensational season at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Jamaican international Althea Byfield is now looking to shine for the nation when the Caribbean Basketball Champion-ships tip off in just a little more than two weeks' time.
Byfield, who arrived in the island a few days ago, saw her team finish with a 16-13 record. They were undefeated at home and she received an honourable mention for the Lone Star Conference South, the division which her team, the Lions, is a part of.
Despite her minutes being slightly down from last season due to a deeper bench, her shooting percentage increased by 10 points from last season and was at 56 per cent - a team leading mark.
Byfield was also the only woman in the Lone Star Conference to rank in the top 10 in the NCAA for rebounds, assists and steals, which she did last season.
She began playing basketball about five years ago in the hope of receiving a scholarship and things have certainly come full circle for the player who began by playing netball.
Having gone through her final season at Texas, Byfield will now turn her attention to what is expected to be a strong national team and believes that she will be a key ingredient in its success.
Although she has not yet met some of her teammates, she does not believe it will affect the team's chemistry.
"I only know about six players. The rest I've never met before, but we'll have about a week and a half to prepare for the tournament and we will be living and practising together," Byfield said.
The players camp will begin tomorrow where Byfield will be joined by recently retired Seattle Storm centre Simone Edwards and fellow international player Syreeta Bromfield. They are expected to be the core of the Jamaica women's team.
"We have a really talented team and I think we should do very well, we have a very good shot at winning the whole thing," a confident Byfield remarked.
"Those of you who come out to see the games, look out for something very special and unusual, especially from me," she said.