Remembering Milton Paul (1973-2014)
Jump Ball #114 By Arlington James
Dominica's basketball fraternity, particularly players from the city of Roseau and those on senior division teams from the out-districts from the 1990s knew him simply as Milton. But he was christened Carlton Milton Paul, and during his basketball career he "acquired" two nicknames through his peers: "Sir Charles", after the famed Charles Barkley of NBA fame, and "Sir Mills" after his second Christian name.
Born in 1973, Milton gave several years of his teenage and adult life to the sport of basketball right up to his untimely passing in 2014 at the age of 41. He contributed to the sport as a player in Dominica's national and community basketball leagues, as well as in the areas of coaching and officiating. He was one of 11 players who were 'featured' in the Jump Ball article entitled, "Subbed Too Soon" which was published in The Sun newspaper in 2018; those players had died while still actively involved in basketball. So, let's take a time-out and peek into Milton's basketball journey while on Earth.
His Teams In DABA 'Leagues': Milton was a member of no less than six (6) teams in the national basketball league, four of which competed at the senior level.
He debuted in 1987 at the age of 14, playing with Sharpers in Division III, and continued playing with that team at that level the following year. Reunion Year 1988 had also seen the DABA introducing its first-ever 16 & Under Division and Milton assisted the Pottersville-based Hoyas to capture the Knockout championship in that division.
Come 1989, the then 1-year old Killer Bees - the 1988 Division I (senior division) Knockout Champs - who had been eying Milton during his playing on Sharpers, induced "Sir Mills" to bypass the Intermediates Division and move up to play in the 'big league' with the Bees who captured the Division I League Championship that year. Milton was only 16 years old then.
"Sir Charles" played with Killer Bees for four seasons until 1992 and it was during his stint with that team that he made his debut on the Dominica National Basketball Team.
The following year (1993) Paul joined and played with the newly formed J.K. Rebels but, as fate would have it, they only survived a single season.
The next leg of Milton's basketball journey was with Phia's Knicks, on which he was a founding member in 1994. He played with Knicks for six seasons (1994, 1995, then 1997 through 2000), taking a 1-season leave of absence in 1996 to play with Hoyas. And it may be of interest to note that when Hoyas met Knicks in a league match, Milton scored 15 Pts to help Hoyas defeat his former side, Knicks, 87-74.
A knee injury suffered while playing with Knicks did not deter him from going up and grabbing those rebounds or taking those 'jumpers' (jump shots).
Milton's final career move was joining the senior X-Men, but in a non-playing capacity; he remained with that team until his passing in 2014.
Sir Charles in Community Leagues: The bundle of energy that he was, Milton played with a total of seven (7) teams in five community basketball leagues. He played with Blue Devils, then Jam Down International in the Roseau Improvement Committee (RIC) League in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
Sharks, then Bullets, both from Trafalgar, included Sir Charles on their rosters in the Roseau Valley Basketball League during the 1990s.
He also played with Knicks in the Soufriere Basketball League in 1998, with Bucks in the Mahaut League, and with Boyz In The Hood in the Fond Colé Basketball League which 'Toto' described as "the best-organised Off-Season League" that they had participated in.
Other Local Competitions: In 1994 Milton was a member of Jam Down International when they represented the RIC League in DABA's only "Clash of Champions" Mini-Tournament; Jam Down won that historic competition.
Playing '2-2' can be a lot of fun, and some years ago Milton teamed up with his buddy Toto to play in a DABA 2-on-2 tourney, which they won!
His Awards: Although Milton helped his teams in the local leagues or the national team capture championships, surprisingly, he did not acquire too many individual basketball awards during his career.
His small collection includes: (a) Most Valuable Player (MVP) on Killer Bees at the 1990 OECS Champion-of-Champions Tournament (b) Free-Throw Champion at the Closing Ceremony for the 1990 DABA Season (c) Most Valuable Player of the 1994 RIC League and MVP of Jam Down International in that edition of the League.
Concludes next edition