The BC Christian Prep Panthers basketball programme is establishing itself as a pipeline for Bahamian talent and will add another pair of local student-athletes.
Joshua Dames and Bradley Lightbourne will become the latest Bahamians to join the Panthers in British Columbia, Canada next fall.
Tabernacle Baptist Falcon, and junior national team standout Josh Dames said he plans to continue his progression and skill development at the prep school level.
“It was just me thinking about doing what was best for me. Expect a young man that is going to be a leader, has become more skilled in every aspect of the game and that is very unselfish.”
“I take shots when I need to take them but I love getting my teammates involved and my goal will be trying to lead the Lions to a prep school national championship.”
According to Dames, having Lightbourne join him next season at BC Prep will make for a more manageable transition.
“[BC Prep] would be a great fit for me knowing that I have top-notch Bahamian players in the country like Bradley joining me there so it’ll make my transition easier.”
Both players were All-Tournament selections at the 2019 National High School Basketball Championships.
Lightbourne finished as the tournament’s leading scorer at 23.2 points per game and also led the tournament in several other statistical categories including steals per game (4.2), free throws made (44) and defensive rebounds per game (6.6).
He was also an All-Defensive team selection.
“While others were partying and drinking I was working on my game, constantly working and getting up shots,” Lightbourne said.
“The decision wasn’t hard but it took a while for [my family and me] to make a decision because other schools were giving me offers.”
Familiar With The Bahamas
BC Prep last played in the Bahamas last November at the inaugural Caribbean Tip-Off Classic.
Panthers head coach Doug Dowell said the programme is excited on what the new additions can bring in the upcoming season.
“I wanted to have Joshua with us this past year. He would have been a missing piece for our squad. I believe with hard work Joshua could go somewhere.”
“Bradley has a huge upside and I believe the competition and environment will really help him.”
“He seems to be the perfect fit for this program and hopefully, his adjustment period will be short and he will be able to perform right away.”
“The future is bright in the Bahamas.”
Fellow Bahamian Deante Dean is currently a member of the Panthers programme but the school’s recruitment of Bahamians has been highlighted by Sammy Hunter.
Hunter recently finished his tenure at BC Prep and will head to the Ole Miss Rebels men’s basketball programme this fall.
“The Bahamians are a great fit for our program as we are a Christian School and Program so most of the kids from Nassau and Freeport already have that foundation coming in.”
“The biggest challenge has been the distance and my ability to get there to watch them live.”
“Another issue we have found, as have other schools, is that the kids from the Bahamas academically are behind.
They are smart kids but the curriculum in the Bahamas in certain subjects is not up to our standard.”
” Acceptance of nothing less than excellence forces them to improve their game in order to play.”
“Sammy was a good example of this. He was a much different player when he first came and the other players here demanded excellence from him.”
“No laziness or lack of discipline.”
“They made him step up and that made it easier for us to work the issues out.”
“He and my son Keenan were ball screen and roll partners very often and Keenan really held Sammy accountable.”
In his final season for the Panthers, Hunter averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game.
The Journey Begins
Dowell and both new additions to the Panthers said Hunter played a positive role in their recruitment process.
“Sammy, as you know, has been a tremendous project for us and he is a tremendous young man.”
“He has really grown, matured and developed since being here.”
“The fact that people see that growth and improvement bodes well for us with all the boys from home.”
“Sammy really values the Bahamas and the National Program there so he is a great advocate for us and them alike.”
Lightbourne said: “He told me they are going to work me hard but just be ready to put in work.”
Dames added: “Me and Sammy talk often and he was the first person I messaged when I was interested in going to BC Prep after they offered me.”
“He said it was a great school where I could develop as a player and as a Christian.”
“He also said the school and coaching staff would have my best interests at heart so I really couldn’t say no to the offer.”
BC Christian Prep is a Club Program that is designed to have the top players from BC, Canada and around the world come to one destination and train daily with each other so that they can glean from the competitive atmosphere and become better players.
It also provides top-level Canadian and American game schedules that will enhance the exposure of our players to top CIS, NAIA, NJCCA, and NCAA programmes.