Thu | Dec 1, 2022

Finding the balance

National high jumper not giving up on basketball career

Published:Sunday | July 17, 2022 | 12:14 AMSharla Williams - Gleaner Writer

Lushane Wilson clears 2.18 metres at the first time of asking to claim the National Senior high jump title at the JAAA National Senior and Junior Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium back in June.
Lushane Wilson clears 2.18 metres at the first time of asking to claim the National Senior high jump title at the JAAA National Senior and Junior Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium back in June.

WHILE MANY athletes hope to make a sporting team, national high jump champion Lushane Wilson has made two professional teams, for two different sports, at the same time, while studying for his degree at a sporting college.

After soaring to 2.18 metres to claim the national high jump title, Wilson was selected to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Two weeks later, he was drafted to the newly established E1 Caribbean Basketball League to represent the Elite 1 Team White.

The league is set to begin five days after the Commonwealth Games.

Wilson has big goals, both as a high jumper and as a basketball player.

“I would love to win both of them. I have some goals for the Commonwealth like jumping a personal best and finally getting over 2.30m, but it’s a rough road – it’s easier said than done. For the basketball league now, we (Team White) will win. We have the coaching staff and the player personnel to get the first title, so we will be going for the championship and the trophy that comes with it,” he said.

Along with playing these two sports, Wilson is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Sport Massage Therapy at the G.C. Foster College. It is a balancing act.

ROUGH TRAINING

“I compete mostly in high jump but those training sessions are rough. I still don’t know how I complete them, but I do and it has made me stronger, so I’m grateful for it. It’s hard sometimes, but you find an area in which you can mix the three and then you find help in areas you struggle with, then school isn’t as hard as you think,” he said.

The St Jago High School alumnus is no stranger to winning titles as he has won at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships. He thinks there is more in his tank.

“My major goals are to win a world title and get the high jump record so I can even beat history and be the best to ever do it,” Wilson said.

The six-foot six-inch guard said he also has major goals for a basketball career, but he will aim to achieve those as the opportunity comes.

“I wouldn’t say I prefer either sport. To be honest, I like them equally. It’s just that one has given me more opportunity because it’s better here in Jamaica. Basketball is just now getting a little recognition so yeah, as of now, I’m leaning towards the high jump,” he said.

He said although it is difficult to play both sports, he is hoping his passion and skills will pave a way to major success in both.

“Whichever one is opening doors and allowing me to make moves is the one I will do and for now it is high jump, but you never know what can happen,” Wilson said.