Steamy’s sizzling scores keep Mohawks in playoff picture

Jorge “Steamy” Ebanks continues to represent Cayman well. 

Ebanks, 26, is the leading scorer in division one of the English Basketball League. The George Town native is averaging 22.79 points per game for the Tees Valley Mohawks. 

The 6-feet, 1-inch guard has the Mohawks 11-7, good enough for fourth place in the league and in firm contention for one of eight playoff spots. Tees Valley, based in Middlesborough, England, advanced to the National Trophy final last weekend, losing to the 9-8 Essex Leopards, 99-91, in overtime. 

Ebanks, who turns 27 in March, had a starring role in the Mohawks’ latest victory, notching a game-high 29 points in a 110-95 triumph over the 9-9 Bradford Dragons. Thanks to Ebanks, Tees Valley are the best offensive team in the competition with a league-best 1,567 points scored. Their defence is a work in progress, though, as they have allowed a league-high 1,500 points. 

Mohawks head coach Steve Butler said the victory and Ebanks’ performance were sorely needed. 

“What a great performance after the disappointing overtime loss in the trophy,” Butler said. “I was looking for a reaction from the players as a few felt they didn’t perform to their best. It’s exactly what I wanted the guys to do. 

“Jorge put in the performance of the season with 29 points, 12 assists and nine steals,” he added. “We now have to have a good run in the league and be ready for the playoffs.” 

Tees Valley are next in action on Saturday, 2 March, against 13-5 Leeds Carnegie, who are ranked second in the competition. After Saturday’s showdown, the Mohawks have seven more regular season games, with the finale on 7 April against the 6-11 Westminster Warriors. The playoffs are slated to start on 13 April. 

For the record, Ebanks signed a one-year contract with the Mohawks last summer. He was previously based in New York, playing for the semi-pro Buffalo Stampede in the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League.  

The Stampede played in the New York metropolitan area, which was convenient as Ebanks was finishing up his studies at Daemen College in Amherst, near the city of Buffalo.  

Ebanks has starred on the Cayman basketball scene for years, winning national championships with George Town Sports Club in past seasons and the Dominos Warriors in 2011. He also captained the 2011 national team to the Island Games and the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Senior Mens Championships. 

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