by RENALDO DORSETT

Following his historic achievements at the collegiate and national team level, one Bahamian college basketball star has now set his sights on a professional career.

Kadeem Coleby officially entered the pro ranks last week when he signed with Al Fateh Al Hasa of the Saudi Arabian Premeir League.The 25-year old centre is a recent graduate of Witchita State University and national team stalwart.

This summer, he played in the summer with Geneva in Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas, which is considered top summer league for players seeking to make the pro leap to Europe.

In 36 ESL games, he recorded just 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.After a collegiate career which included stops at Odessa Junior College and Louisiana Lafayette, Coleby find a home in his senior season at Wichita State.

On the season, Coleby ended up playing 465 minutes, an average of 12.9 per game. In their 36 games, in which he started 19 times, Coleby shot .360% from the field (38-for-84) and .500% from the free throw line (18-for-36) for a total of 96 points or an average of 2.6 ppg.

The six-foot, nine-inch 251-pounder also finished with 100 rebounds for an average of 2.8 rpg, dished out six assists, blocked 45 shots and stole three balls, while committing 78 personal fouls, fouling out twice and turning the ball over 22 times.The Shockers made NCAA history when they won an unprecedented 35 consecutive games and entered the men’s tournament as the number one seed.

They saw their winning streak snapped when they got eliminated by eventual runners-up, the Kentucky Wildcats, 78-76.“It was a big time experience for me, something that I will cherish for life,” said Coleby, “It’s something that I hope to share with my kids and my grand kids. It’s been a wonderful year where we achieved so much. We broke so many records, put our names in so many history books. It’s something to be proud of.”

Following the completion of the NCAA season, Coleby turned his sights to the Bahamas’ national team programme where he made history again.

In July, the Bahamas claimed the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship and Coleby averaged 10.8 points per game.It was the seventh time a Bahamian men’s national team has captured the CBC title, and the first time since 1995.

The team advanced to the Centrobasket tournament where they failed to qualify for the Tournament of Americas. Coleby averaged 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game at the Centrobasket, hosted in Nayarit,  Mexico.

He averaged 9.5 points and 4.9 rebounds for Louisiana-Lafayette in his junior season, starting 30 games. He also blocked 2.4 shots a game and led the Sun Belt Conference in shooting percentage (56.1).

He scored double-figures 15 times, including a career-high 20 against Central Florida and also had a career-high 11 rebounds at Duquesne. He also was ranked 23rd in the NCAA in blocked shots.

As a sophomore at Daytona State College, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 rebounds.

He also received first team All-Mid-Florida Conference honours, was ranked fifth in Region VIII in blocked shots per game (2.4) and eighth in rebounds.

As a freshman at Odessa College in Texas, he averaged 1.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in limited time.Coleby closed out his high school career at the Christian Life Academy in Humble, Texas, posting 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game.

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