‘Coach Yo’ hosting training camp


Tribune Sports Reporter


Grand Bahama native Yolett “Coach Yo” McPhee-McCuin has returned to home soil and has already hit the ground running in terms of hosting the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s (BBF) senior women’s national team training camp over at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium.

The national team training camp officially got underway on Monday and sessions will continue until June 17 at the same facility. 

Yesterday, the group of women went through a few defensive and transition drills with the decorated National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DI coach and they will resume the training sessions at 7pm tonight.

McPhee-McCuin talked about what she has seen so far from this particular pool of basketball players.

“I have actually been very pleased. A lot of these players have actually played in college and some haven’t but they have been holding their own and learning a lot. 

“We have been having two workouts a day. They come at 11 in the morning and in the afternoons and they have not been late. I am just really blessed and grateful to be able to come back. I had to take a break and I have been beating myself up for it since I have done it. It was necessary but now it is time for me to come back and do this,” she said.

“Coach Yo” has returned after what can be deemed yet another successful season with the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels in the Southeastern (SEC) Conference.

Her team earned a 12-4 SEC (win/loss record) which was the best in programme history. 

Additionally, in her seventh season on the sidelines for Ole Miss, she was awarded her 100th win as a coach. 

Despite the long list of accolades achieved in Oxford, Mississippi, she expressed why it was so important to return home for the senior women’s national basketball programme.

“I am really passionate about bringing The Bahamas basketball back for women and, in order to do that, we have to start from somewhere and somewhere is initially training camp. 

“I am putting myself in front of these girls so that they could see that this NCAA DI college coach is making a commitment and believes that we can do it. That is really it in a nutshell, bringing pride back, mending relationships and creating opportunities for these young women. We have a talented young group and we have to help them and provide for them and give them hope. This is not the short game, this is the long game,” McPhee-McCuin said.

Among the talent pool at the Kendal GL Isaacs gym were current Ole Miss sophomore Rhema Collins and former Ole Miss player Valerie Nesbitt. Additionally, former Texas Longhorns guard Lashann Higgs was on the court, Dayton Flyers sophomore Denika Lightbourne and Garden City sophomore Antoinicia Moultrie. High schoolers Terrell McCoy and Shanell Stewart were also in the mix.

Coach Yo, who previously led the senior women’s team to a CBC Basketball Championship in 2015, is optimistic about this group of athletes. 

“We have a lot of nice young talent. That is what I am excited about. At some point we have to allow the young talent to come and build them up especially if you are planning on going the long game. Clearly we are not playing in the Olympics this year but we have to start from somewhere. This crew that we have I feel incredibly positive about,” she said.

McPhee-McCuin was selected as the senior women’s national basketball team coach in March by the BBF’s coaches selection committee. She will serve in this role for the next three years. 

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