THE FINISH LINE: Lourawls 'Tum Tum' Nairn Jr 'made us proud as a Spartan'


Brent Stubbs



I REMEMBER when Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr was running cross country for Carlton Francis Primary School.

In his younger years, he had what was considered to be a promising career in track and field.

Could you imagine where he would have been had he stuck with it?

Like many of the versatile athletes who would have left the Bahamas to continue their athletic careers in high scool, Nairn decided to take his talents to the basketball court when he left at the age of 13 to attend Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.

After averaging 17.6 points with 5.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in his senior year, Nairn was able to secure an athletic scholarship to compete for the Michigan State Spartans in 2014.

He began his freshman year by winning the MSU’s Stephen G Scores Inspirational Player Award and was the co-recipient of the MSU’s John E Benigton Best Defensive Player and the Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Awards.

For the past three years, Nairn was awarded by the Spartans for his leadership by being named the captain, a role that he was credited as serving as a great ambassador for their athletic department and indeed the school.

Nairn, now in his senior year, was honoured on Tuesday night as he played his final home game for the Spartans on Senior Night.

Michigan State won their 11th straight game and improved their record to 27-3 overall and 15-2 in the Big Ten Conference. While Michigan State went on to post a huge 81-61 victory over Illinois to win the Big Ten title, head coach Tom Izzo provided an opportunity for Nairn and two other seniors - Ben Carter and Gavin Schilling - to be inserted in and out of the game in the final minutes so that they could kiss the school’s logo at mid-court and get an ovation from the crowd.

Nairn, the 5-foot, 10-inch, 175-pound starting guard, played 24 minutes and although he didn’t score, he pulled down three rebounds and dished out a pair of assists.

After the game, Nairn said it was an unbelievable experience, something that he couldn’t dream or imagine.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity that God placed in front of me,” he said.

“I am so happy for the programme and our team. We stood together and that is what Spartans always do.”

In his emotions, Nairn was as humble as any Bahamian who would have achieved such a feat.

“Having the opportunity to raise the banner, the trophy, and having my mom here, my teammates,” he stressed. “It was an unbelievable experience. I am so humbled.”

Nairn, a communication major, is the son of Lourawls Nairn Sr and Monalisa McKinney.

His younger brother, Laquan Nairn, who also had a promising career as a basketball player with CR Walker, has made the transition to track and field where he’s a standout long-triple jumper for the Razorbacks at Arkansas.

Whether or not he goes on to get selected in the National Basketball Association (NBA) June Draft and join Buddy Hield and possibly top ranked DeAndre Ayton, Nairn has made us proud as a Spartan and we look forward to where his future takes him.

Hopefully when Michigan State is done with the NCAA Tournament, Nairn will return home to help the men’s national basketball team when the third window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifier is played in June.



THE 47th CARIFTA Games is fast approaching and so far there are not a whole lot of qualifiers, so it’s going to be interesting to see what approach the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations will take in selecting Team Bahamas.

Over the last few years, the BAAA has taken a hard stance on selecting only those athletes who made the standard. Others, however, were added for relay duties.

A lot of that decision was based on the fact that the event was held elsewhere and, although they had a chartered flight provided by the Bahamas government, the BAAA opted not to take a full team.

With the top regional junior track and field meet returning to the Bahamas - the last since 2013 - for the eighth time over the Easter holiday weekend, will the BAAA put together a full team to put on a show here at home?

So far, there are only about 13 athletes, some of whom have qualified in more than one event, that have surpassed the standard set by the BAAA. The standards are compiled based on a combination of the third place finishes in the past two games.

With just over a month to go, there are only three major events for athletes to qualify, including the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Championships that will be contested from Tuesday to Wednesday for the junior high schools and Thursday to Friday for the senior high schools.

The BAAA National High School Track and Field Championships is set for March 8-10 where the bulk of the qualifiers should come as the private and public schools will be matched against each other.

Following on the heels of that will be the final CARIFTA trials set for March 16-17. Normally the numbers are down for the trials when it’s held after the nationals as athletes only feel obligated to perform for their schools.

However, it’s important that the numbers will swell when the trials take place because the games will be held at home and Team Bahamas should be at full strength for the competition that will feature at least 25 visiting countries.

When the games are held from March 30 to April 2, if the Bahamas is going to make an impact at home, our athletes will have to rise to the occasion. But before they do, they have to produce the qualifying standards.


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