The death of Dwayne Cummings has shaken the residents of Orange Walk especially the sporting community. He has been playing basketball since he was ten years old or younger and has been fully supported by his family, especially his mother, Delsia Cummings. He was preparing with the Orange Walk Running Rebels elite team for this year’s NEBL basketball tournament for months. Those who knew him, also knew how skilled he was and they shared their thoughts with reporter Dalila Ical. We start with an interview which Councilor Ladrick Shepard conducted with Cummings in January this year, just before the opening of the NEBL tournament.
Dwayne Cummings: “I feel comfortable playing with this team and it should be a great experience this year. Everyone is playing their role and me I think I am just going to play my role. 2018 I got banged up and I feel like I wasn’t ready physically but this year I put in my work and I feel like I am ready now.”
Reporter: “What can you tell the fans to come out on Saturday night and what can they expect from Dwayne Cummnings come 2019?”
Dwayne Cummings: “Well I just want to tell the fans to come out and watch and the pieces are here. You are going to get a lot of excitement from these guys.”
Ladrick Shepard: “Dwayne has been playing basketball from very young. Shepard told me that he was coaching Dwayne from the time he was ten. Dwayne is 20 now and yes 10 years experience in basketball and prior to that he played in Belize City, he goes around in Chetumal. They had a team there and I must big up Triple A. He played on Triple A’s team. These guys had their own team. The Cummings made their own team along with his uncle. He played for his uncle and these guys so this was Dwayne’s break to debut himself in front of Orange Walk. This was his second year playing for the Orange Walk Running Rebels and I expected him this year to explode to be one of those great players and Dwayne was a leader, a point guard. They say when you play the point guard position you are a leader in the sport. Dwayne not only on the basketball court, he was a leader off the basketball court by encouraging a lot of kids to play basketball and encouraging them to come over. He used to go to all these small gyms and played with these guys. He had a lot of friends and he always kept that smile on his face.
Raul Rosado CEO Running Rebels: He was a part of different teams and categories for us. Recently he was a part of the Orange Walk Running Rebels elite team. Last year he was the runner up for the rookie of the year award so he was a promising young athlete local star and a promising athlete nationwide. I personally as a team owner and team manager never believed that this would happen to us, amongst our own family of athletes. We interact with them daily especially during season time like right now, day in an day out communication. It goes beyond basketball, having a relationship and talking to them about the future and what they do and what they don’t do and it is really impacting the organizations, it is impacting the players, his teammates and the entire community.”
Dwayne Cummings was also close to his stepfather, a former basketball player himself, Mark “quicky” Bantan, who is also known as a skilled point guard back in his time.