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Jan 23, 2023

Devin Daly Takes the Spotlight in First Sports Monday Player Profile for 2023

Welcome back to a new year of Sports Monday, I am Paul Lopez. We remain committed to bringing you the best stats and highlights in various sporting disciplines from across the country for 2023. This year, we will bedelving into much more stories of triumphs and defeats from some of your favorite athletes, while breaking down the matches from ongoing tournaments. So, be prepared to journey with us on a weekly basis. And, to kick off an exciting year, we bring you our first Player Profile for 2023, as we take a look at the career of one of Belize’s top basketball talent, Devin Daly.


Devin Daly

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Twenty-eight-year-old Devin Daly is among Belize’s leading talents on the basketball court.  As a child, he fell in love with the game watching his uncles shoot hoops on Iguana Street. The neighborhood he grew up in is notorious for fierce gang rivalries. But, in the midst of urban warfare, Daly would find a way to excel in sports and academics.


Devin Daly

Devin Daly, Basketball Athlete

“I grew up on Iguana Street and my two older uncles use to play the sport right eena the park where I grew up at and that was where I really fell in love with the game. Just love the competiveness about playing basketball and the comrade that we form, so that’s really where it started.”


Daly approached the discipline with a passion that would earn him an athletic scholarship to Lake Superior State, a university in the U.S., and a brief stint in Denmark as a pro-athlete. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, one of Belize’s most popular basketball players, has been his mentor for the past decade.


Darwin “Puppy” Leslie

Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, Sports Mentor

“I first met him his first year in high school and I always give this story, the first time he came to the Belize Bank Bulls Dog camp at Birds Isle, it was a Saturday morning. His condition was at a low point where he didn’t even know how to jog. He was a little bit junky, we will call it fluffy. So, I took him on the side and showed him how to do a walking technique into a jogging technique.”

From those initial lessons, to playing on his high school team at St. John’s College, Daly shined among some of the best players in secondary school.  At the age of seventeen, he was among a group of students selected to be part of a delegation led by Coach Bernie Tarr to participate in King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio. There, a coach from Michigan recruited the young talent to the Lake Superior State Lakers. He would later make the Great Lakes Athletic Conference All-First-Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches All District Mid- West Second team.


Devin Daly

“Ironically or coincidentally the coach that coached me in college in Michigan, he was there and his game got cancelled. So, he decided I already drive over eight hundred miles fih come sih this tournament, might as well I watch those kids from Belize. Just by that shot of luck I got an opportunity. I think he definitely mih like weh ih sih. I can’t exactly say what I mih do, but I could tell you I wasn’t the most talented on the team.”


Darwin “Puppy” Leslie

“I came and watched him in high school and each year he progressed until he was the top guy in high school, along with players like Kashief Thomas, Andrew Ortiz, just to name a few and after that we got a big shock. When heard the good news that he got a scholarship to go to a division two, a top division two college at Lake State Superior. Now, the shock is this, we have never heard of new coach coming to fly to Belize, and we have a desk put out and a signing of a contract and it for Devin Daly.”


The opportunity was a major break for the S.J.C. graduate who had always dreamed of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. But in 2016, Daly went undrafted during the NBA Draft. It was an upset, but only a minor setback for a player set on going pro. He then signed a contract to play professional basketball in the Denmark Basketball League.


Devin Daly

“I was recruited by an agent. He told me hey this is your potential salary, this is your potential leagues, are you interested. And, for me it was just High School College in the states, and straight over Denmark not giving myself enough time to relax, and rest, and slack off. So, after doing those three steps there I didn’t get any breaks, cause in between, summers and college, I only came home for a week. So, in four years I only visited Belize for four weeks. So, by the time I finished two years playing in Denmark, I was done, ready to come back home.”


Devin Daly, an accomplished athlete, is back in Belize. He holds a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology. Currently, he is training to compete in the 2023 Belize Elite Basketball League with the Belize City Defenders. But, the majority of his time is now spent fathering his two-year-old son and carrying out his duties as the Programs Manager for the Belize City Council. Through, the “Mek Wih Plant” Urban Garden on Police Street Extension, Daly and his colleagues have been able to create job opportunities while generating revenue for the council. Mayor Bernard Wagner has also played an influential role in Daly’s career.


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City

“Team player that is how I would describe him, a team player that is how I would characterize his career, about being a team player. From the peewee league, to the amateur league, to the semi-pro leagues, to the pro-league overseas and now into his professional career, team work, being a team player, contributing to the team goals, to the team objectives. And I am so proud that Devin is now able to see that journey he went through and at the end of the day the best word that describes him is being a team player.”


Devin Daly

“Honestly outside of looking at the outside, I am paving the way for my son. He is two and I want him to be a great man like I am. So, doing the right thing and having the right thing follow you, is just what it is about now. So, I think if I am doing the right thing for him, I am definitely doing the right thing for the people outside.”


And now, moving from Devin Daly’s story to some Cricket; over the weekend the Belize Cricket Association held its 2023 T20 Cricket Marathon to kick-off the 2023 Senior Men Cricket season. Eight teams went head-to-head in Bermudian Landing Village. In the first match of the day, Lemonal Surprise took on Progress 11. Lemonal Surprise won that game with ninety-five points over Progress 11’s eighty-seven points. In the second match, St. Paul’s Bank Strikers took on the Belize Defense Force. Team BDF displayed dominance on the field, prevailing over their opponents with one hundred and twenty four runs to fifteen runs. At the end of the two-day marathon, it would be the 2022 T20 defending champions Summer Fever from Bermudian Landing Village that walked away with the first prize trophy and a check for two thousand dollars. We spoke with Daphne McFadzean, an executive member of the Belize National Cricket.


Daphne McFadzean

Daphne McFadzean, Executive Member, Belize National Cricket Association

“As we in the River Valley says Cricket is life. The kids born playing cricket so it is something that is in them from birth. So, that is what keeps it going in the River Valley Area.”


Paul Lopez

“I would imagine even today’s kids remain involved, because I saw a little boy competing earlier. Yes, and that I something we want to build on the younger kids to keep the sports alive. So, we have to invest in our kids to keep the sport going.”


And, also over the weekend, Sacred Heart Junior College came alive for the 2023 ATLIB National Basketball Championships. We want to send our congratulations to the Galen Eagles Men’s Basketball Team. They were able to secure first place in the men’s category, making this their sixth ATLIB Championship. We say congratulations also to the Wesley Junior College Girls Team for taking home the first place trophy in their category.  Well, folks that is all we have for you for this week’s coverage of Sports Monday. Remember to join us back here again next week for another edition of Sports Monday.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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