Joel Jefferson presides over the Cayman Islands Basketball Association and said the example set by Ebanks, 27, speaks to the success of youth development within the sport here.
“Jorge is a great example for our young players, but more important than his current playing career is the path he took to get there,” Jefferson said. “He developed here until he was in his late teens, then furthered his education and basketball talent in college. The college experience was the spring board in jump-starting his professional career.
“This is what we want from all our young players. Use the Under-19 league to win a college scholarship. Ultimately, when Jorge’s career is finished, he will have his education to fall back on.”
Ebanks, along with fellow Caymanians Lloyd Samuels and Jerome Narcisse, is playing in England for the Tees Valley Mohawks. The Middlesbrough-based club competes in division one of the English Basketball League.
At the moment, the Mohawks are playing in the Men’s National Trophy competition, which is a season-opening tournament. Their next contest will be on Saturday against the Bradford Dragons. Tees Valley play a few more tournament games, with the last contest on Oct. 19 against the Manchester Magic. Their regular season opener is slated for Oct. 26 against the Newham Neptunes.
Ebanks, a George Town native, signed a one-year contract extension in August after inking a one-year deal last summer. Samuels and Narcisse, who are both 26 and played with Ebanks on the Dominos Warriors men’s basketball team that won the 2011 national championship, were brought in this summer.
The Mohawks captain, Ebanks has made a big impression in a short time. The 6-feet, 1-inch guard led the league in scoring, averaging over 21 points per game. That production helped Tees Valley compete in the Trophy final, finish fifth out of 14 teams with a 16-10 record and advance to the league playoffs. As a result, he was named Guard of the Year by Eurobasket.com, an independent website that covers pro and semi-pro leagues around the globe.
Prior to his English stint, the son of Mary Ebanks was based in New York, playing for the semi-pro Buffalo Stampede in the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League. The team 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.