Clayton State men’s basketball wins silver in summer International tournament in Martinique
Clayton State University students returned from summer break earlier this month, and for the Laker basketball team, the summer break provided a unique educational and playing experience.
The Clayton State men's team took their first-ever international trip during the summer break, traveling to the French island of Martinique and competing in the Charles Fidelin Memorial Tournament.
"The international trip was a great experience for our guys," said head coach Gordon Gibbons, entering his 12th season at Clayton State. "Most of the players on our team had never been out of the country. It was a great opportunity for them to not only experience another country's customs and culture, but it also allowed them to play and interact with basketball players from several different regions of the world."
The four-day tournament was held in Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique and featured teams from France, Canada, St. Lucia and Martinique.
The competition was a memorial to Caribbean basketball pioneer Fidelin, who passed away a few years ago. Coach Gibbons had a close relationship with him and has been holding basketball camps in Martinique for more than 20 years. While on its trip, the Clayton State team was able to tour the islands of Martinique and St. Lucia.
Clayton State opened the tournament with a 96-66 win over Antilles Select from Group B. The Lakers prevailed 88-76 in the semifinals of the tourney, defeating Lavel University from Quebec City 88-76. The Lakers led at half 56-32.
In the much anticipated final between the USA team from Clayton State and the French National Team in a sold-out Louis Achille Stadium, the team from France won 78-63. The Lakers led 34-33 in the third quarter but were unable to hold off the French professional team in the second half. Jean Baptiste Adolf led the French Nationals with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
For the tournament, forward Omari Murray led all Clayton State returning players with 14 points per game, followed by forward Juron Dobbs averaging 12 points and guard Tony Dukes with 11. Center Andrew Bachanov averaged 10 points and eight boards over the tourney.