Sports — 28 March 2014
Introducing Belize

Introducing Belize born SMU Freshman, Deshawon Nembhard

A relative sent us some information today along with an SMU (Southern Methodist University) website link on a young man who has made some major strides toward his dream of playing professional football in the U.S.

There are many youth with Belizean parentage in the U.S., and it is always refreshing when we hear of their success academically or in the sporting arena, especially if they show appreciation for their Belizean roots. And it could be a great inspiration for our youth back home in the Jewel.

According to information on the team roster, #26 Deshawon Nembhard is a 6’1″ 170 lb Freshman defender/midfielder on the SMU men’s soccer team in Dallas, Texas.

Below we print a brief extract from an article appearing recently on the team’s weekly web page, followed by some information on Deshawon provided by his uncle, Derrick Morgan.

Mustangs Defeat Houston Baptist, 4-1

Four Different Players Score In SMU’s Victory

HOUSTON (SMU), March 6, 2014

The SMU men’s soccer team defeated Houston Baptist, 4-1, on Saturday at Sorrels Soccer Field.

“It was great to finally play a college team after starting the spring with two games against professional sides,” Head Coach Tim McClements said. “I felt that we were a bit sloppy in the first half and didn’t play to the SMU standard. We were stretched defensively and didn’t take care of the ball build-up. We led, 1-0, at half, but knew we could play much better.”

That first goal for the Mustangs came from 2013 American Athletic Conference All-Newcomer Team selection Deshawon Nembhard in the 20th minute.

“In the second half we grabbed ahold of the game and played very well,” McClements said…

Notes from Derrick Morgan:

This young man, Deshawon Nembhard, was born in Corozal Town, Belize, but migrated to the USA when he was about 5 years old. His parents are Sharon Morgan and John Nemhard.

He has football in his blood, as his father played at the semi-pro level with Yabra and his uncles Leeroy Morgan and Wilton Morgan played with La Victoria.

He has played academy football in the Dallas Chelsea Solars organization (affiliated with Chelsea FC of the EPL). In 2012, Dallas Chelsea Solars qualified to the U17 US National Championships (only 6 teams from each age group across the entire USA qualified to this tournament). Deshawon was named to the tournament best 11.

Deshawon was heavily recruited by NCAA Division 1 schools, and decided to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas TX. As a freshman, he played at the left back position in all 17 of SMU’s games and started 13 games. He was named Rookie of the Week for the week of September 16, 2013. Additionally, he was named to the American Conference All-Rookie Team for 2013.

Thus far in the 2014 pre-season, Deshawon has started all four games, recording one goal scored, three of which were against professional teams: Houston Dynamo-MLS (2-0 loss), San Antonio Scorpions-NASL (3-3), Oklahoma Energy – USL (1-1) and one against Houston Baptist University (4-1 win).

Amandala asked: Does he remember Belize? Is he Belize conscious? He is now a product of the American system, and may not want to risk his progress, like Marion, by emphasizing his Belizean roots.

Derrick’s reply: He still understands and speaks Creole. He used to come to Belize every summer up to when he was 14 years old; this was when the academy football got serious and he had to play a lot of tournaments during the summer. There was a video profile on him on the SMU Soccer page where he mentions Belize as his favorite place to travel to. However, I am not seeing it on the page now. The kid is actually an excellent student also. He got an academic scholarship to St. Mark’s School of Texas; this is an elite private school where there is an 8:1 student to teacher ratio. He is a very humble kid with his head on his shoulders. He says he wants to play professionally, but we have to wait a couple years to see where that goes; however, if all else fails he is getting a degree.

(Ed. Note: Deshawon’s uncle, Leeroy Morgan scored in La Victoria’s 3-1 finals victory over Milpros in the first semi-pro football season in Belize back in December, 1991. Continue to stand strong, youth! The Jewel is with you. For more information, readers can go to www.smumustangs.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/smu-m-soccer-mtt.html.)

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