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From the Bahamas to Charlottetown to Montreal

by Jeffrey Muntu November 1, 2016
From the Bahamas to Charlottetown to Montreal

Marvia Dean and Ashley Moss talk about their past, and coming to Concordia

Ashley Moss calls Marvia Dean on the phone.

“Where you at? The interview thing was at like 4:30. They’re waiting for you to come.”

A few minutes later, Dean arrives, and sits next to Moss at a table in the Ed Meagher Arena.

Moss and Dean, rookies on the Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team, are two of the most laid back people you’ll ever meet. Nothing seems to bother them too much.

Unfortunately for Moss, she injured her left Achilles tendon and can’t play. Her chances of getting back on the court this year are close to impossible.

As for Dean, she was a force to be reckoned with at the Concordia Classic tournament in October, earning the Most Valuable Player award. She’s gearing up for a season in which the Stingers have the potential to be a top team in their division.

Dean and Moss’s relationship didn’t start at Concordia. In fact, it goes all the way back to their high school days in the Bahamas, where they used to play basketball against each other.

“We’ve known each other since 2006,” Dean said.

According to Dean, if there is one thing they really miss about their hometown, it’s the “famously” known S.S.S, which stands for sun, sand and sea.

Despite being opponents in high school, they became teammates in college. Dean and Moss began their collegiate basketball careers in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) with the Holland College Hurricanes in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Fittingly for them, Charlottetown has strong ties to the Bahamian community, which made their integration that much easier.

“My cousin was already with me, then we recruited Marvia,” Moss said.

Moss explained that Charlottetown is home to many Bahamian teenagers. Like Moss and Dean, most of them are being recruited by friends and family already attending the province’s colleges.

During their two-year stint at Holland College, both players enjoyed success under head coach Mike Connolly.

“We were back-to-back ACAA champions and went to the Nationals for two years straight,” Dean said. “The first year we won the bronze, and the second year we won the silver.”

However, for both women, Charlottetown is not a place that holds any particular emotional attachment. They explained that Charlottetown felt more rural compared to Montreal, and there wasn’t much to do in the city.

Despite the distance between Charlottetown and Montreal, it was still close enough for Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens and her staff to track the girls down and offer them a spot with the Stingers.

“She came and watched a lot of our games when we were playing in Holland. I guess she liked what she saw,” Dean said. “We then took a recruiting trip, and we liked what we saw on our end. We took our chances by coming here and we like it so far.”

“Coach [Gittens] has made the transition easy for us,” Moss added.

Plenty of offers from other universities to play basketball were on the table, but the Bahamian natives were adamant about “staying together as teammates.”

Marvia Dean picked up an MVP award at the Concordia Classic in October. Photo by Ana Hernandez.

From an academic perspective, both players are working towards careers in business. The goal of coming to Concordia was to succeed both academically and from an athletic standpoint. They are putting in as much effort off the court as on it.

“I am in open academics? but I’m looking to transfer into business school,” Dean said. As for Moss, she is already doing a business certificate. They hope to learn the basic principles of business, then decide which specific field they are going to pursue.

Both women agreed that, after university, they would like to stay in Canada — but would probably leave Montreal. A city like Toronto is attractive to them, but that doesn’t mean Montreal is a city they don’t enjoy.

Coming into their careers with the Concordia Stingers, both Moss and Dean are looking to work on their mindsets.

“The game here is a lot quicker than back at Holland, so we’re just adjusting to everything right now,” Dean said. “We’re going one step at a time, improving on the little things like the effort we bring to every game.”

As for their new teammates, Dean and Moss can sense that they have joined a really diversified group, where people come from very different backgrounds.

“For us right now, it’s a little bit different, because we speak a different language  so not everyone understands us,” Dean said. “You know, we have to slow it down before we get there.”

“We’re animated enough,” Moss added.

Both players are excited to get in their first regular season game with the Stingers, even though Moss might have to wait until next season.

The team plays their first game against the Bishop’s Gaiters at home on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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