Jerome Narcisse is planning to continue his basketball journey in Europe.
Narcisse, 27, is currently back home in the Cayman Islands doing offseason workouts ahead of a second stint with the Tees Valley Mohawks in the English Basketball League. The West Bay native, who is technically a free agent at the moment, says the only snag in his return to the Middlesbrough club is finances.
“I’m here till mid-August working out and doing offseason conditioning, training in the gym,” Narcisse said. “I’m focused on getting in shape for the next season. I had a one season contract with Tees Valley that finished in April. It’s all up in the air in that they want me to come back and it’s up to the financial terms. Tees Valley is still the top option, like I said I just spoke to the coach (Steve Butler) and he wants me back, the owner wants me back. It just all depends on the financial situation.
“Whatever comes up, I’ll listen. I hope it works out but if I get options I’ll look into them.”
Narcisse is coming off a good rookie season in England where had a honorable mention for the All-EBL Division One First Team. His stellar play was not enough to prevent the Mohawks from missing the playoffs, as they finished ninth in the league standings at 12-14.
Narcisse was joined in Tees Valley by a pair of Caymanian stars: Jorge Ebanks, 28, and Lloyd Samuels, 27. Ebanks, the team captain, had another exceptional campaign as he was named Domestic Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and listed to the All-EBL Division One First Team and All-Domestic Players Team by Eurobasket.com, which claims to cover 416 leagues in more than 200 countries.
Like Narcisse, Samuels was making his debut in England and was on a one-year contract. While Narcisse did not disclose any figures related to their deals, he feels Samuels is in the same position.
“I’m not sure what Lloyd is doing, he’s pretty much in the same boat as me. Everyone had a end-of-season meeting with the owner and the coach on a personal level. I don’t know what was said and it’s meant to be private. Lloyd and I did a couple of workouts together, along with coach Voot (Victor O’Garro, Cayman’s technical director for basketball). He’s just in the offseason but he wants to go back and he’s considering going back with me.”
The situation with Ebanks is much different. The George Town native had previously said that the Mohawks were a stepping stone in his career and that 2014 would be his last season with the club. Eventually, Ebanks said he would like to play in a professional league in Europe such as the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
Narcisse confirmed that Ebanks intends to play elsewhere and shared his sentiments.
“I know he’s supposed to go somewhere else to play. I feel Jorge will get somewhere else because of his two solid seasons with Tees Valley. With Jorge, I’ve spoken to him casually on Facebook and whatnot, just seeing how he’s doing personally.
“For me, Tees Valley is a stepping stone. I want to improve and from there go to a different league in another country. Long term, I’d like to go to countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal.”
Interestingly, Narcisse also suited up for the Dominos Warriors this season – the same team he was with before joining Tees Valley last summer – in division one of the Digicel National Men’s League. Kenval Bryan and the Warriors would lose to Rashaad Powery-Saunds and the Sol Blazers in the finals for the third straight season. Narcisse says it was a tough loss, mostly due to a lack of personnel.
“I feel we fell short with a lack of manpower. Playing five guys one game and six another is kind of tough. But at the end of the day, we held our own. Obviously, I wanted to win. Right now it feels more about bragging rights than anything else. We simply tried our best but we fell short.”