Cayman hoopster soars in Italy

A sign of a great basketball player in Cayman is when he or she goes abroad to play.

Whether it is through school, an overseas competition or otherwise any news of a Caymanian making those steps is huge.

Hence Jerome Graham-Record’s name should carry some weight in Cayman hoops circles.

The 19-year-old was in Foligno, Italy recently as part of a United States youth basketball team.

Facing the US team was a selection of some of the best youth players in Italy.

There Graham-Record played a starring role for team USA as the athletic forward averaged 10 points and seven rebounds.

Thanks to his efforts the US team won all five of its games. In addition the young man won a plaque for tallying the most rebounds in the event.

Graham-Record had much to say about the trip.

‘It was a wonderful experience and once-in-a-lifetime chance that I will never forget.

‘I’m also grateful for the opportunity and privilege to be chosen to represent another country (USA) and the Cayman Islands.’

Graham-Record went on to express his gratitude to the people that made his trip possible.

‘First I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity and strength to compete. I also want to give a big thank you to Andrew Hersant from Stuarts, Walker and Hersant. He made it possible being my main sponsor along with Sean Vasquez.

‘Also thanks to Frank Hall Homes, Sushella Vernon, Althea Vernon and all that contributed in making this trip possible. God bless you all.’

In some ways the young man’s exploits are no surprise due to his large stature: he is already 6’7 and weighs 210 pounds.

It was also quite an achievement for the young man to make the team. Before the trip he had to travel to North Carolina to take part in a two-day training camp to be among the squad of 140 players and coaches.

His unique name and the fact that he plays with the US team might not point to a strong Caymanian link.

But his background information proves his connection to Cayman is clear.

Graham-Record is the son of Ansel and Ann Graham-Record of George Town. He was born and raised in Grand Cayman and attended Triple C.

From there Graham-Record moved with his parents (who are originally from Jamaica) to Port St. Lucie, Florida four years ago in early June 2005.

He currently resides there and just finished high school at the St. Lucie West Centennial High School.

He is now majoring in Physical Therapy at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The young man says he intends to stay there a year before transferring to California State University of Bakersfield on a possible full basketball scholarship next fall.

After college, the young man has plans of playing professionally in Europe for a few years before trying for the NBA.

From there the young man says he would like to represent Cayman at the Olympic Games.

‘One of my dreams is to take part in the 2012 London Games representing my native Cayman Islands in basketball.

‘It would be an honour to carry the flag in the opening ceremony.’