By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
AFTER several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil’s Novo Basquete Brasil finally opened its 2020-21 season and David Nesbitt has emerged as a leader in his first year with a new club.
Through five games, Nesbitt leads Minas Belo Horizonte in rebounds per game (7.8), steals per game (2.1) and is second in points per game (14.1). He also leads the team in field goal percentage at 68 percent.
At 4-1, Minas is tied with Franca in the season standings, one game behind undefeated Flamengo, Baru and Paulistano in the loss column.
Nesbitt came off the bench in the season debut - a 102-68 loss to Flamengo.
Nesbitt followed with a double double - 16 points and 11 rebounds - in a 76-54 win over Pato Basquete and added eight points and seven rebounds in a 90-54 blowout win over VIPTech CMB. He scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in an 82-67 win over Fortaleza and most recently scored a season high 21 points and 11 rebounds for his second double double of the season in a 108-99 win over UniFacisa.
This season with Minas marks Nesbitt’s fourth club in as many years in the NBB. He has also won two league championships during his tenure.
He spent the 2019-20 season with Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. In 26 games he averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and one steal per game. Over the course of the season, Nesbitt was voted to Latinbasket.com’s Brazilian League All- Imports Team and League Player of the Week on two separate occasions.
In the 2018-19 season, he played 37 games for Flamengo and averaged 7.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in just over 17 minutes per game. The club claimed the league title in a five-game series over Sesi Franca.
It was the second consecutive NBB championship for Nesbitt. In 2017-18, Nesbitt won his first NBB title with Paulistano Sao Paulo. In 39 NBB games he averaged 8.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He was voted to the Brazilian All-Star Game and All-Imports Team. In the finals he averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds for the series in a 3-1 over Mogi.
A graduate of St Thomas University and Bahamas national team stalwart, his international career has spanned three different continents (Asia, Latin America and of course North America) in four different countries.
Nesbitt has played previously professionally in Argentina, Iraq, Kazakhstan and Uruguay.