George Andrew, left, and Bob Alexander
George Andrew, left, and Bob Alexander

There is a popular saying, "April showers bring May flowers". In 2022 Dominica received quite a few showers in April, and by the end of May the once popular Giraudel-Eggleston Flower Show made a spectacular come-back in the form of a pre-show which was presented under the theme, "The Enchanted Garden".

Sadly though, in April and May 2022 the basketball fraternity in Dominica lost two long-retired players, one of whom played in the 1970s and the other in the 1970s and '80s.

The current crop of players in at least the most recent national league (2017), or even some who played from the late 1980s may never have heard about any of those players. So, let's peek back at Robert Alexander and George Andrew while they performed on the basketball court. Their surnames both begin with the letter A, they both played on senior division teams and may have even played against each other. However, they have now taken permanent substitutions.

Robert "Bob" Alexander

"Bob", as Robert was affectionately known in basketball and other circles, undertook a rather short basketball journey here on Earth. He only played with Flames senior team, on which he was a founding member together with some of the team's big-name players as Alvin Bernard, Lennox Bernard, Seibert Didier, Tony Dixon, Augustus Harris and Peter Skerrit.

From the single available score for Bob that was published in The Star Dominica newspaper in May 1976, Bob assisted his team in blowing-out Pros by a score of 60-30. Bob was one of the high scorers in that match, netting 20% of Flames final score with a decent 12 points. 1976 was also a championship year for Flames, and so Bob would have contributed to his team's success that year.

Bob was 67 when he passed away on 15th April 2022, but before his passing he had lost his eyesight. During his better days, he was also known for the tasty pastries and tarts that he made and sold in Roseau.

George Andrew

Back in his day, George was known for his strong inside play under the backboards on the basketball court. He was also close friends with two basketball colleagues on his street – Claude Bellot and Charles James, both of whom played in the national league.

George played with three senior (Division I) teams in the national league, in addition to representing Dominica.

His first team was Zodiacs, with whom he played possibly only for the 1975 season.

Next, he moved to Harks and played with that team in at least 1976 and 1978. His teammates on Harks included Augustus Harris, Blaize Jones, Edgar Robinson, Henry Shillingford and Lennox Xavier/Jervier among several others.

His last team was Owls, on which he was a founding member and played only in 1985. His teammates then included Dr. George Bruney, Adolphus David, Wilmoth LeBlanc, Phil McDougal and Lennox Rocque among others.

George was consistently a high-scorer - and occasionally a top-scorer - for his team in individual games. And that goes way back to his days on Zodiacs.

Some of his high scores during his career were 38 pts (for Harks, vs Pros, 1978); 24 (for Owls, vs SMAGs, 1985); 23 (for Owls, vs Flames, 1985); 23 (for Owls, vs Harks, 1985); and 22 (for Harks, vs Flames in a replayed match, 1978). And, while with Zodiacs, he had netted 10 Pts against Cardinals in the 1975 league. His 38 Pts in 1978 was the 8th highest individual player score in that year's league.

Apart from making very valuable contributions to his teams' efforts as a scorer, George would also have grabbed many a defensive and offensive rebound for his teams.

George also got selected to the Dominica National Basketball Team for the 2nd Windward Islands Basketball Tournament which was played at Windsor Park in 1976, and was won by the home team. His teammates on that victorious national side were Oliver Burton, Alphonso Etienne, Augustus Harris, Clem Jno. Baptiste, Trevor Knight, Wilmoth LeBlanc, Emanuel Loblack, Charles Roberts, Henry Shillingford, Peter Skerrit, and Augustus St. Hilaire.

George was 70 years old when he left this Earth on 19th May 2022.

Jump Ball expresses sincere condolences to the families, friends, and basketball associates of Bob Alexander and George Andrew. Continue to Rest In Eternal Peace. Statistical information was sourced from archived newspapers.