The Belen Jesuit Prep crew team concluded its High Performance Summer Training Program by participating for the first time at the prestigious Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Saint Catharine, Ontario, Canada.
In the U-17 8+ category, BJPC won gold and the illustrious Michael Broderick Memorial Trophy, competing with a scholastic crew of lightweight rowers against international rowing clubs of heavyweight rowers.
In the Senior Lightweight 8+ Dash competition, the BJPC boat was runner-up with a crew of 16- and 17-year-old rowers competing against U-23 international crews. In the U-17 4+ category, the BJPC boat took bronze, also competing with a scholastic crew of lightweight rowers against international rowing clubs of heavyweight rowers.
According to BJPC, this is the first time a Florida men’s scholastic rowing program has been so successful at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.
Representing BJPC at the event were talented rowers Jose Armengol, Matias Buedo, David Dukenik, Nicolas Fernandez, Ben Gilbert, Alex Keenan, Nick Keenan, Jose Menendez, Jorge Padron, Joseph Perez, Manuel Sanchez, Daniel Ugas, Santiago Ugas and Miguel Zaldivar.
The Royal Canadian Henley is a world-class regatta, founded in 1880 and recognized as the top amateur rowing event in North America. Each year, it welcomes competitors from Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and Latin America.
Former Barry University men’s basketball player Willie Whitfield was selected 13th overall by the London Lightning in the National Basketball League of Canada.
A 2007 Miami Springs High School graduate, Whitfield was the third player chosen in the second round by the two-time defending NBL Canada champions during the draft in Markham, Ontario.
“When you're just sitting there waiting, you're nervous,” Whitfield said of his draft experience. “When you hear your name called over the microphone and the speaker system, it's like a sigh of relief. It's a special feeling to know they felt you were good enough. It's reassuring. It lets me know I haven't reached my potential yet.
“This is real. There's a lot of great talent in the league with a lot of Division I players and guys who've spent time in the NBDL and playing professionally overseas. So the competition is there. I'm just excited to be able to play against some of the best. I pride myself on playing hard and giving 110 percent. I'm up for the challenge of playing against the top competition.”
A 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward from Miami (Miami Springs HS), Whitfield spent the past two years in Germany playing professionally for ASC Mainz. Last season, he led the Third Division German team in scoring (17.9) and rebounds (9.2) per game, while averaging 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals and shooting 63 percent from the field on a team that tied for first place in the league.
In 2011-12, Whitfield averaged 20.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, and shot 68.6 percent from the floor for ASC Mainz.
“I’m very proud of Willie. He’s worked very hard since he got here as a freshman until now to achieve his goals,” said former Barry men’s basketball coach Cesar Odio, who recruited Whitfield. “He always wanted to get better, and his goal when he got here was to play professional basketball. To hear your named called, and get picked by the London Lightning, the two-time defending champions of the Canadian League, is an honor.