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Feb 20, 2023

Francis Hauze Takes The Spotlight in This Week’s Player Profile

Goodnight and welcome to another edition of Sports Monday. I am Paul Lopez. Belize has produced a number of outstanding athletes that have travelled abroad to play for teams in the U.S and around the world. Within the last ten years, we have been hearing about more and more young athletes across various disciplines travelling outside of Belize on athletic scholarships. It is quite an accomplishment and one that Francis Hauze has been making the most of. Tonight we speak with the Belize City native for this week’s Player Profile.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Francis Hauze was featured in the news back in March 2021.  Hauze and Edgar Martinez were recipients of athletic scholarships to play volleyball in the U.S., a dream for many young athletes in Belize. Focused on his pursuit of a degree in Graphic Design and his love for the sport, at the time Hauze told News Five about the opportunity.


Francis Hauze

Francis Hauze, Volleyball Athlete

“It helps me to get an education while playing the sport I love, volleyball.  I started when I was fifteen and then after that my coaches saw my athletic ability and told me to come train with the senior team and then I got a chance on the senior team and then it just continue after that.”


Hauze has been doing exceptionally well since he left Belize to play for Calmulet College of St. Joseph in Indiana. In his first year, Hauze was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Freshman of the Year and he made it on to the CCAC First Team-All Conferences, ranking third in the nation in kills. Developing on his killer instinct, only days ago CCAC named him the Men’s Volleyball Attacker of the Week, sixty-one kills and seventeen digs for that period.


Francis Hauze

“When I first started I just wanted to play for my national team, then I saw the older players like Bryton Codd and Kareem Coleman, they got full scholarships to study aboard and from there I just worked on in. I said hey this is what I got to do and I got. This is my second year, so I am a sophomore this year. It has been a great journey. Last year we had to like, me personally I had to adjust to different situations, especially the weather and you have to meet new people and different perspective and getting use to culture.”


Hauze spoke with us about the time he has had to invest in training to adapt to the game in another country.


Francis Hauze

“I definitely have to put in extra work to get where I am at. Over here the style is different than what we play in Central America because Central America is a lot of speed, there are smaller guys. But here we are playing against 6’9’’ guys, bigger guys that can hit from a higher contact point. So, we had to train our vertical jump, getting stronger in the gym, putting extra work in the weight room, everything.”


Hauze grew up on Cumberbatch Street in Belize City, an area often in the news for murders and gang violence. But, this has never stopped this young athlete from rising above the negative circumstances that surrounded him. His sister, Dominique Noralez, also studying abroad, has witnessed her brother excel throughout the years.


Dominique Noralez

Dominique Noralez, Sister of Francis Hauze

“I am a huge cheerleader so I am at every game I could be at. I am the loudest cheer person. I am the person who is talking smack to the other team. So, to me just watching him excel and something he is passionate about and puts time into it. He goes to gym, and practice, and gym and makes sure he is not living a lifestyle that is contrary to the goals he has for himself. Watching that has been most fulfilling, most exciting.”


Education and sports were gateways to greater opportunities for Francis and Dominique.


Dominique Noralez

“It was through school that my brother found volleyball. Him not being in school would have led to whatever god forsaken activity that would have happened and the things that really happen to young black men. I have always seen greatness in my brother and I see greatness in all young black men. That is why the work of BK Sports is important, the work of the ministry in supporting young black athletes is important, even the afterschool programs that needs help. But the two, sport development, education cannot be separated, because you can’t have people who are fixated on just the sports aspect without having them focus on their education as well.”


Francis Hauze

“I am trying to get my degree first. I have to get that. After that, I am planning to go pro and then with the degree I have I could do like a little side business so that could help me out with an extra push.”


Keep up the great work Francis. And, now for some elite basketball, the Belize Elite Basketball League continues to have a troubling start to its 2023 season. Fans no longer know what to expect when they go to the Belize Civic Center to watch a basketball match. On one night a fight caused an undue interruption to the game that left fans hanging for almost an hour before the game resumed. And now, on Friday night fans were even more confused as to why the number of players on the court diminished with every-time out. The match was between the Benny’s Belize Hurricanes and the Western Ballaz. By the end of the first quarter all five players for the Western Ballaz were off the court. The entire team then made its way out of the stadium. We caught up with their coach Karim Juan on his way out and here is what he told us.


Karim Juan, Coach, Western Ballaz

“From Western Ballaz position nothing happened. We come, fih we team banged up. We only have five players. We get fouled out and a few get injured. That dah one and two the schedule has we mih the play Saturday and until Wednesday we find out that we the play Friday. Man weh the work mih done got their jobs already so we just ran out of players.”


Paul Lopez

“There are also reports that you guys are protesting the decision of the appeals committee and the Commissioner’s decision to uphold that decision. If that is not the case, what are your thoughts on that?”


Karim Juan

“Oh no, I happy that deh free Kirk Smith. I am happy for Kirk Smith and that he could play. I am happy for the young.”


In a social media statement the following day, the Western Ballaz Basketball Club congratulated the Hurricanes on their one-quarter game win, saying “We were outplayed and outnumbered”. We have seen fans on social media refer to all that happened that night as unprofessional and disrespectful to fans. Some people even called for the season to be suspended. But, the show must go on, and that is exactly what happened on Saturday night. Three matches were played in three different districts. The Orange walk Running Rebels defeated the Belmopan Taigaz eighty-one to sixty-eight, inside the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex. The Punta Gorda Panthers won at home against the Belize City Defenders, eighty-seven to eighty-two. In Dangriga, the Griga Dream Ballers successfully defended their home turf against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, in an eighty-one to seventy-four points ball game.


The National Secondary School Sports Association held football championships were held over the weekend in San Pedro Town. Eight high school teams, four male teams and four female teams went head-to-head in a two-day marathon. Of the eight teams, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico Male team finished in the first place position. And also from the North, the Orange Walk Technical High School girls finished in first place. Elva Nunez was named the Most Valuable Player among the females, while Brandon Castaneda was named the Most Valuable Player in the male category. We say congratulations to all the teams that participated in a successful season.


And from the island to the Belize River on the mainland, the Belize Canoe Association hosted its Boom to City Canoe Race on Sunday; this is two weeks ahead of the country’s annual biggest canoe race. And if Sunday’s results are any indication of what can be expected of the La Ruta Maya Belize Rive Challenge then the teams to watch are the Protected Areas Conservation Trust that took first place, Slim and Trim like Guava Limb that took second place, and Koop Sheet Metal that secured the third place position.  The Hive has been dominating in the junior category over the last few matches, and Sunday was no different.  Well folks that is all we have for you tonight. Until next time.

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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