The Cayman Islands has many talented athletes studying in the United States and one of them is Jamaal Ebanks who has just completed his first semester at The Linsly School in Wheeling, West Virginia
Ebanks, 16, was here last week on a break and managed to play for Future Sporting Club, a side he holds dear to his heart. Future’s coach Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks has a reputation for instilling in youngsters high standards in the basics of not just football but also life skills and that has certainly helped Jamaal who had a great initial season in the US and was named Linsly’s 2011 Offensive Player of the Year
He plays in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference which is the largest high school athletic conference in the US, comprising a total of 46 schools with over 12,000 athletes.
He flew home his 2011 Offensive MVP Award for coach Huta, who was really touched. Jamaal will be running track in the spring for Linsly School. He said: “I settled in very quickly at Linsly. I went there for pre-season training and my new team mates really made it easy to settle in. They showed me around, introduced me to people and let me know how things worked around the school.
“Overall I played 14 games for Linsly and scored 15 goals and got six assists. My highlight was the night I scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over University High School to secure a spot in the quarter-final stage of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference tournament. The 35-yard goal I scored in that game and my game-winning goal in the 90th minute during the last game of the season at the Mid-West Prep Tournament in Cleaveland, Ohio were all highlights from my first season.”
Such is his attachment to Future, Ebanks said; “I’ve been a proud memeber of Future since 2008 and I’ll remain a member for life. I gave my Offensive MVP award to coach Huta as a gesture of thanks for helping me develop into the player and person that I am today. The success of my first season at Linsly is really due to the countless hours of fitness, technical and tactical drills he did with me during my time in Cayman. He’s a real father figure for me.”
So now he turns to track. “I’ll be running the 100m and the 200 metres. I’ve been told by numerous coaches that I’m fast. I’ve run an unofficial 10.7 seconds in the 100m.”
Like many talented players of his age, Ebanks hopes to make it as a pro. “If for some reason I can’t pursue this dream I’ll become a coach. Education wise I’m aiming to get a doctorate in political science.”