WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Andre Sands, who’s originally from Freeport Bahamas, moved to Kansas at the age of 16 when he made the Sunrise Christian Academy’s boy’s basketball team.
“They first got me because they said ‘Bel-Aire,’ so I’m thinking Fresh Prince and big mansions,” Sands said. He said his basketball journey included playing for Hutchinson Community College and Newman University and gave him the opportunity to play in America, which was “almost like a dream.”
After graduating with a college degree, Sands decided to stay in the U.S. to continue to chase his basketball-playing dreams on a higher level. It has been 10 years since he has returned back home to the Bahamas.
“I love the game too much. I gotta be around it,” Sands said. “I picked the ball up and the Wizards gave me the opportunity to compete.”
Currently playing for the local minor league basketball team, the Wichita Wizards, Sands feels like he is one step closer to his dreams.
“He brings an entirely different look of life to our team,” said Mark Creed, owner of the Wichita Wizards. “I saw him on the court and knew he would be a crowd favorite,” Wichita Wizards’ VP and assistant coach Michael Lewis said.
For Sands, making the decision to stay in the U.S. and continue to chase his dreams has taken a lot of sacrifices, but the adopted Kansan believes it has been worth it.
“I stay in contact with kids back home, and they are like ‘how are you doing over there?’, ‘we see you doing big things in the states,” said the Wichita Wizards power forward/center.
“I always wanted to leave my mark, I’m not going to stop — I’m going to keep going and going,” Sands said.