St George’s College avenged their ISSA Southern Conference Under-16 basketball final defeat to St Catherine High in the All-Island final at G.C. Foster on Tuesday, and one of the most critical performances of the day was that of tournament MVP, Jadeja McCormack.Jordon Gilles might have led the North Street school with 17 points followed by Samora Williams with 13 and Nathan Reid with 10 points. However, it was the overall contribution of McCormack that really made the difference.The point guard only bagged eight points, but his rebounds, steals and ability to control the tempo of the game made the young player an invaluable asset for the defending under-16 champions, and he credits the hard work that he puts in as the reason for his success this season.”We wake up five o’ clock to train and finish at 9 a.m. to 10 (a.m.). Then I would play some pick up ball with (Arnett Rockers) D 1 players. I will be the first one in at training most of the time, and I work hard in the gym, run, and do what I have to do. The hard work has paid off,” he told The Gleaner after helping his team defeat St Catherine.HAPPY FOR WIN”I am pleased and happy, too, because to work so hard and not come out with anything would have been disappointing, so I am glad we won and I won (MVP),” he added.He admitted he had his difficulties through this season and credit his team for helping him through the tough times.”Some games, I lost focus, but my teammates and coaches helped me pick up, and I thank them for that,” he said.”I take this (sport) very seriously, and sometimes, my mother would tell me to stop playing, she says that I will damage myself, but I love basketball. I don’t love anything more than it, other than my family. I dream of playing in the NBL, and I am working hard to make that dream come true. Next I would like play college ball or for a (US) Division One league until I can work my way to the top,” he said.St George’s coach Clifford Brown thought McCormack’s all round contribution was indispensable and vital to their success this season.”His performance was stellar. His ball control, his ability to manage the game, he manages a lot of steals and converts on free throws. He plays good defence, he heeds instruction and he followed the mandate given to him. He is the point guard and he is supposed to run the team, and that’s what he did,” Brown commented.- L.S.
That move came after the Chinese Football Association (CFA) introduced a 100 percent tax on expensive transfers worth more than 45 million yuan ($7 million).After Bakambu freed himself, saying it was “for personal reasons”, the CFA said if it catches teams trying to sidestep the tax it will hit them with crippling point deductions and could refuse to register players.Although Bakambu has not yet signed with Guoan, he has been training with them in Portugal. He talked to AFP on Thursday when he stopped in Paris on his way to China.“It’s just a question of timing,” Bakambu said. “They didn’t want to do it in the shadows hidden away in a hotel in Portugal.“They want to do it in Beijing in front of the press and their supporters, and that’s why this thing is dragging on a bit,” he said.Asked whether the club might want to avoid the transfer tax, Bakambu said: “I’ve seen stories like this but that’s not my business, the money is not mine and it won’t be going in my pocket.”He is expected to be paid around 18 million euros a year before tax.Bakambu, who grew up in the Paris suburbs, said, the difference between the Chinese offer and his income in Spain was “great”.Yet he acknowledged that he could understand why some critics were surprised that, at the age of 26, he had chosen to leave La Liga for China.“I did not understand either,” he said with a laugh. “What happened was that, at first, I was not too excited and later they found the arguments to convince me. That took several months.”Bakambu had scored 14 goals in 21 matches this season for Villarreal.“I was having the best season of my career but there you are, they managed to convince me. Football is good, but life is more important. I will not lie, I know why I went there and I take responsibility my choice.”Asked if it was a financial offer that was hard to refuse, Bakambu answered: “Yes.”He paused, before continuing: “I’m not going to hide it, financially speaking the difference between what I had in Villarreal and what the Chinese club was offering me was too great.“There are some who can say no. I accepted, because I have good reasons. There are some who would have gone for less and others who would have refused for more. I made my choice.”– Hard times –Did those reasons include his impoverished upbringing on the outskirts of Paris?“Clearly, this was the most important factor,” he answered.“I often go to Vitry-sur-Seine to relax a little, to see my family and my friends. It helps me keep my feet on the ground,” he said. “I’m a professional player today, but don’t believe it’s always been easy. I don’t want to whine, but I’ve lived through bad situations.”“The fact that I have known hard times played a part in my choice.”He said he had no idea how long he would stay in China.“I had a five-year contract with Villarreal, and I only stayed six months. I do not know what will happen in China. We’ll see.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000On my way: Cedric Bakambu trains with Beijing Guoan © BEIJING GUOAN/AFP/File / HANDOUTPARIS, France, Feb 15 – In the end, the Chinese made Cedric Bakambu an offer that was too good to refuse.The Congolese striker’s move to Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan has been the subject of intense scrutiny since Bakambu paid the 40-million-euro buyout clause in his contract with Spanish side Villarreal.