By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE Bahamian connection at Ole Miss will embark on another community outreach initiative to support Hurricane Dorian victims.
The Ole Miss Athletics student-athlete advisory committee will be sponsoring a supply drive today at the Oxford, Mississippi campus, led by redshirt freshman and Grand Bahama native Franco Miller Jr.
Miller is one of four Bahamians currently apart Ole Miss Athletics along with temmate Sammy Hunter, women’s basketball head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her junior point guard Valerie Nesbitt.
“Seeing somewhere you grew up getting washed away, like your entire high school, is devastating and made me want to help anyway I could since I’m so far away,” Miller said. “You never know when tragedy will strike, but you can control how you respond to others in need. Since coming to Oxford and experiencing an injury, Rebel Nation has always been there for me and supported me. A lot of people have already been reaching out to me asking how they can help, and I decided this would be the most impactful way for the Oxford community to help out my hometown.”
McPhee-McCuin previously used her platform to spearhead her own fundraising effort, with a focus on the mental health of the victims of Hurricane Dorian’s path of destruction.
Another Grand Bahamian, she established a GoFundMe.com account - “Hurricane Dorian relief with Coach Yo” and pledged $5,000 to kickstart the effort.
“This is the worst our country has likely ever seen...I’d like to not only help with the provision for supplies and essentials but also counselling/mental care support as the hurricane has taken an unimaginable emotional and psychological toll on adults and children from young to old alike,” she posted in her personal message on the GoFundMe page.
“My family and I pledge to personally donate 5k to this effort and my plan is to distribute it and additional contributions to various organisations around the Bahamas that are truly supporting the relief, recovery and wellness of Bahamian people. Once the airports open up I will personally make a trip to ensure funds are used to rebuild our beautiful island, not only physically, but mentally.”
McPhee-McCuin is in the second year of her tenure at the helm of the Rebels’ programme. In the offseason, she signed an extension which will run through the 2023 season.
After an injury plagued redshirt true freshman season, Miller is expected to see an increased role this season. Both Hunter and Nesbitt will be in their first seasons as Rebels basketball players.