By RICARDO WELLS
LET’s see if I can recall it correctly!
Yes, exactly - it was somewhere around the "Freeport" portion of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's enthused announcement that Bahamian native Buddy Hield was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 6th overall pick last June, that the entire Bahamas emotionally migrated to the Big Easy.
That evening all of my social media timelines were bombarded with clear, bold declarations of 'in Buddy we trust.'
Firmly rebounding from his flat first half of the season, Buddy has finally taken his initial steps toward making his imprint on the basketball world.
Over the last quarter of the season, Hield has pushed his shooting percentages to 37 per cent from long distance, 39 per cent from the field and 92 per cent from the charity stripe.
If that wasn't enough, Buddy Hield was named the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month for December.
Over that stretch, he led the all West rookies in scoring with just north of 10.5 per game, three-point per centage, just shy of .500; and three-pointers made - 33.
Now that his résumé is known, the hometown boy has finally come calling for that support we promised - the NBA All-Star Weekend is calling.
The city of New Orleans, Buddy's NBA hometown, will host All-Star weekend February 17-19 and the former Jack Hayward Wildcat has tossed his name into consideration for the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.
Hield, prior to the start of his rookie campaign, made his interest known, stating at that time that he wanted to be in the three-point shooting contest in New Orleans and if it’s possible I’d like to do it."
"It’s a challenge to compete with Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson] and all those guys. You’re competing with the best three-point shooters in the world.”
All a part of a point he reiterated during team managed social media video stream last week.
Buddy told fans via the stream: “Y’all need to campaign for Buddy to enter the three-point contest.”
Now before you go off on a tangent and ramble on about how the kid’s too young and unprepared for the contest, let me remind you that the weekend's Saturday stage has been the coming out party for many of the league's finest young players in the past.
The events allow the league's fresh faces a chance to show out and impress, and if they just so happen to bomb, provides enough overall excitement to act as a cloak them criticism.
This event is clearly a win-win opportunity for the Buddy Hield brand.
So while I should stop short of calling for a national holiday with all public and private focuses going toward flooding NBA social media accounts with recommendations from Bahamians, insisting that the NBA place Buddy in the contest.
I wouldn't even advise against offering up Baha Mar level concession to the league to sweeten the pot - after all, all is fair in basketball. This is my plea. Please take to social media and get the momentum going behind Buddy.
Participants will be officially announced in the weeks leading up to the event.