Ja­maica’s Fernandez signs NBA deal

For­mer Cal­abar High star inks sig­na­ture with Mi­ami Heat

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Robert Bai­ley Gleaner Writer

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 Vashil Fernandez (right) with his agent and for­mer Ja­maica Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Ajani Wil­liams. 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.

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