By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
DOMINICK Bridgewater continues to progress in the FOS Provence Basketball Byers Club.
The 19-year-old point guard was called up to join the Byers’ Pro-A roster for the LNB Pro B Leaders Cup.
Bridgewater has yet to appear with the club since the call-up, a 67-64 loss to Nantes. The Byers return to the floor on November 15 against Denain.
Bridgewater made Bahamian basketball history last year by becoming the first player to make the jump straight from high school to the professional ranks.
Then 18, he signed a junior pro contract with the Byers. He spent last season as a member of the club’s Epoirs (Junior League – U21). He made an immediate impact when he was named the MVP of a preseason tournament (18 points and 11 assists per game) hosted in Tain, France.
In 28 games, Bridgewater averaged 15.7 points, 4.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. “My first intention was to go D-I because that’s where I saw Buddy Hield and so many other guys play and after the US Embassy denied me, I thought it was hopeless, but this opportunity has been life-changing,” Bridgewater said.
“The best part about living here is getting in the gym four times a day, working on my game, getting better, getting stronger and off the court meeting new people. Living in a different country, different atmosphere, eating different food, just being a part of the culture, it has changed me as a person off the court as well.”
The Epoirs team also competes in the league consisting of all of the junior division of each team in the LNB French Pro A League.
“My game changed so much the last few months because I feel like I’ve gotten better every day, working on the areas I need to all the time. Shooting, dribbling, learning how to pass, my vision has definitely gotten better and just thinking through the game more,” Bridgewater said.
“Coming out of the junior league I had more freedom to do what I want on the court but at the next level I know I have to work even harder, be more efficient and learn from the people around me everyday.”
Last summer, Bridgewater made his senior national team debut as a member of Team Bahamas that finished second among Group Phase A at the AmeriCup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers in Belize. The team concluded with a 2-1 record.
At the junior national team level, Bridgewater was also a member of a pair of squads to represent the country. In 2016, he won MVP en route to leading the Bahamas to the gold medal of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation’s Under-16 Tournament when he averaged 18.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. He followed with an appearance at the Centrobasket Under-17 Championships where he averaged 24.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
He was also selected to represent the Bahamas at the Basketball Without Borders Americas Camp in 2017. Basketball Without Borders features the top 66 boys and girls from 16 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.