Basketballers fly out for Centro
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
A confident Jamaica senior basketball team, led by Cleveland Cavaliers' Samardo Samuels and New York Knicks' Jerome Jordan, is scheduled to depart today for the Centrobasket Men's Championship, which will be held from June 18 to 24 in Puerto Rico.
The Sam Vincent-coached team also includes Patrick Ewing Jr, formerly of New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets, and Ryan Reid, who plays for the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA Development League.
Lynford Brown, who plies his trade in the National Basketball League for the Spanish Town Spartans, is the only local-based player in the squad.
Jamaica are drawn in Group B and will play alongside Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the US Virgin Islands. Group A comprises Cuba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Panama and Nicaragua.
The Jamaicans finished a disappointing fifth in the last Centro tournament, which was held in the Dominica Republic, but Vincent is confident the team will advance to the next stage of the competition.
"I am very confident because we have a very strong team this year," said Vincent.
The two top teams in each group will advance to the Federation of International Basketball Associations Tournament of the Americas in 2013.
Vincent added that Dominican Republic, with a number of National Basketball Association players, including Alfred Horford, who plays for the New Jersey Nets, will be Jamaica's toughest opponents at the tournament.