Cayman’s top basketball talent in Portugal will be on the bench for awhile longer.
Jorge Ebanks, 28, is rehabbing a sprained ankle he suffered in his debut for Portugal’s Angrabasket earlier this month. The 6-foot-1-inch point guard is targeting a return to the court this week.
“I’m in rehab now and getting treatment every day, so I should be back for our next game on Nov. 8,” Ebanks said. “I wanted to play last weekend in our first away game that we lost, but my coach was like, ‘No, I need you to rest and get healthy because it’s a long season.’ It was hard to watch them lose, but the coach thinks about my health first.
“It’s good to know he cares about his players and not just about winning. Some coaches want to win so bad they don’t care if you’re fully healthy or not.”
The George Town native is on a one-year deal with Angrabasket, which plays in a third-tier domestic league and is based out of Angra do Heroismo, on the island of Terceira, in the Azores region. Angrabasket, which has been in existence since 1998, is a semipro club that has played in Proliga – Portugal’s second-biggest competition – the past 10 years before being relegated last season.
Local media reports said Ebanks was limited due to physical problems in his club’s season-opening win over CU Sportiva. He confirmed on social media that he was injured, noting he had a sprained ankle. The injury did not appear to be serious, as he was back training and has continued to engage in light workouts and a regular gym regimen.
Angrabasket was missing Ebanks in their 72-51 loss to Queluz last month. According to local media reports, Ebanks was one of a handful of missing players, and the squad was not at full strength.
Ebanks started off his Portugal adventure by scoring nine points and four assists in roughly 15 minutes of action in the opener. He says he was happy with the result.
“Yeah, we got the win in our first game. I started out good with nine points early in the first quarter and then I sprained my ankle. I tried to play in the second quarter, but I couldn’t really do much, so I didn’t play the rest of the game. My teammates played really well to get the win as we played well down the stretch to win by three points.”
Ebanks was previously in Middlesbrough, England, playing for semipro outfit Tees Valley Mohawks in the English Basketball League. He was the team captain for two years and had arguably his best individual campaign last season. He was named Domestic and Defensive Player of the Year and listed to the All-EBL Division One First Team.
Ebanks made the switch from England to Portugal with help from his agent, Thanos Koukouravas of LA Sports Agency, whom he signed over the summer. Ebanks says he prefers the Portuguese style of play.
“The style of basketball here in Portugal is a little bit different in the way they play on offense, but not that much of difference. The referees let us play physical more, which I like, so it’s good for me.”