by RENALDO DORSETT
Two-sport star Livingston Bromwell is billed as “The Next Man Up” for Noble Preparatory Academy and will have his opportunity to fulfill that promise when he leaves this week for an exchange program at a prestigious Canadian boarding school.
Bromwell will be another in the line of NPA students to participate in the exchange programme between the two institutions, which acts as the precursor to a the possibility of an athletic scholarship following its conclusion.
Ridley College, located in St Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada, is one of the leading private boarding and day university preparatory schools in the country.
Ridley is one of the oldest private schools in Canada, and has the largest boarding program in Ontario, with students representing over 35 countries.
The 17-year-old Bromwell, said he relishes the opportunity to prove himself on the international stage, and feels well prepared to represent, himself, his family and NPA when he leaves for Ridley College on Friday.
“It is a great opportunity. With Coach Geno [Bullard] bringing me under his wing I can say that I’ve transformed tremendously and improved both academically and athletically. My work ethic has improved, I’m studying more, participating in more class activities, doing more public speaking, and it’s changed me tremendously. So I’m fully prepared to make this step the Canada,” Bromwell said, “I’ve heard that it is a good school. The guys that came out of Ridley, they made it to Division I universities or might slip and hit a Division II, so I know what this opportunity I have the chance to get to that level automatically once I apply myself to the classroom at work, and do what I have to do on the floor or on the track, there’s no way I could be denied a scholarship. At Ridly they have all the facilities to get better. Their technology is advanced with their educational syllabus so I know I’ll be exposed to more college level stuff while I’m still in high school so It’s a great school overall.”
Known for his prowess on the basketball court, Bromwell is also one of the country’s premier high jumpers at the junior level.
He was a two time member of the Bahamas’ junior national basketball teams and CARIFTA track and field teams.
In addition to his improvements in the classroom, Bromwell noted that he is physically prepared to compete in the field of play as well.
“With the midset that I have I will probably go in there and dominate, just tear the competition apart. I’m going to give my best effort and do what I have to do to show the Ridlians that the reason why they gave me this chance was not just because of sports but also my education and my character,” he said, “With the practices and the system Coach Geno has placed in it really helped me with my jumping ability, my body fitness, cardio, just working out and running alot, it’s truly enhanced me and put me on the next level where I confidently feel that I can go to Canada and dominate, doing the same things I was doing in the Bahamas.”
Bromwell said the family decision for him to attend NPA was one that changed the course of his life.
“From last year I would have already graduated from CV Bethel and I’m not sure what I would have been doing right now, but coming to NPA has given me focus and a drive to succeed. This school directly prepares you for college. In a lot of our classrooms we work on computers like we would have to at the next level. It helps with your transition to college, it prepares you with public speaking and the workload is higher than average” he said, “With this school academics come first so if you’re thinking that you would just come to Noble to play basketball od do a sport you’re thinking wrong. That’s what people think this school is about, but the school is about academics first so you have to perform in the classroom to get out on the field. It’s business before pleasure – your school work is your business and your pleasure is just the sports you play. When you mix them together there’s no way you could be denied and do whatever it is you want to do.”
Livingston’s mother, Ida Mae Bromwell, said her older sons, former players under Coach Bullard, were the driving force behind the decision to choose NPA.
“My sons asked me to give him a chance with Geno and I’ve seen the tremendous change and growth over the years. When you think about Noble you think about one of the best private schools. It is not just about sports it is about education and bringing young men into their full potential of where they are to be. Looking at where Livingston has come from it has been a tremendous blessing,” she said, “I think he’s prepared. At first I was a bit timid to think about him leaving and wondering how he would make it, but he has matured and he has shown the maturity and responsibility to have me convinced and confident in him being on his own.”
With her son ready to make monumental step academically and athletically, Ms. Bromwell said she would recommend parents of prospective students to choose the budding programme.
“If you are looking for your young men to be what God has called and designed them to be, Noble is an important step,” she said, “You have men with integrity teaching them believe in themselves. So I would advise parents, if you are looking for a school, not only with a strong athletic background but educationally, they can check Noble. I would recommend it any day.”
Geno Bullard is the founder and serves as President of NPA.
One of the most successful basketball coaches in Bahamian basketball, he made the transition to academic administration when he founded the school just three years ago.
Bullard is also the international recruiter for the entire Caribbean region for Niagra College.
NPA has academic ties with Ridley, Niagra and Brock University.
“We already have a very successful relationship with them, from the days when my son graduated from there. The trend of students we had participate in the school’s exchange program laid the foundation, and them knowing the integrity and character that those students already had, once we were able to get our own institution in NPA, where we had an opportunity to design an entire programme dedicated to creating a student athlete, things were able to take off,” Bullard said, “Having a full scope of being on the ground and being apart of those institutions I fully understand what is demanded by a prep school, a college or a university and I am able to impart that knowledge to these kids and their parents. It is all about creating a total package – a student that is confident in his education, confident in his athletic ability and to able to present his self in a professional manner.”
Bromwell’s announcement comes on the heels of the successful experience Shamar Burrows had in the exchange programme at Ridley last year.
Burrows was able to earn a full athletic scholarship and Bullard said he looks for the programme to become an annual tradition for NPA students.
“We are already on the hunt for who’s next. Who has the character and ability to sustain this sucess on that level and magnitude of a school like Ridley. When you talk about a school with over 100 years of history, a lot is to be expected. We are guaranteed that those caliber of students can come from NPA, and they want more. More Shamar Burrows’, more Livingston Bromwells. Its our job to locate these opportunities for our students. We’re very excited about Bromwell to get this opportunity and we are quite confident and capable that he will make the impression and be able to get it done. At the end of the exchange he will come back home and we will wait and see what will happen for the upcoming school year.”
For those interested, Bullard encourages them to visit their website: www.npabahamas.com, check out their Facebook page: Noble Preparatory Academy Bahamas or call 676-0055 for more information.