By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
BAHAMIAN pro basketball player Willis Mackey Jr will make the move from Spain to France next season.
Mackey is set to join JSA Bordeaux Métropole Basket of France’s Nationale Masculine 1 (NM1 League, the third-tier division of club basketball in the country.
The two top teams from each season of the competition are promoted to the LNB Pro B, which is the French second division.
Mackey recently received league-wide recognition for a standout season in Salamanca, Spain, with Aquisima Carbajosa of the Liga Española de Baloncesto Aficionado, commonly known as Liga EBA. He was named the EBA’s Eurobasket Player of the Year, Import Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and was an All-EBA 1st Team selection.
Mackey led the club with 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
He recently returned home after spending an additional three months quarantined in Spain due to COVID-19.
“I just feel blessed. That’s just an honour just to be recognised on that stage and to be recognised at the top of the league, as the best player in the entire league and in the whole country. There are hundreds of players that could have been chosen,” Mackey said on his YouTube channel.
“Thank you to Eurobasket for the awards. Thank you to my coaches, thank you to my organisation for making my first pro season a success, making me so comfortable and making me feel at home even though I’m 5,000, 6,000 miles away.”
A season of milestones for Mackey also included his debut as a member of the Bahamas’ senior men’s national team.
In the latest window of FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers the team emerged with a dominant win over Mexico in February. He entered pro basketball following a senior season for the Northwestern Ohio Racers when he averaged 16.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a senior.