Standing at six feet, Romario Senior towered over other students in his school when he was just 14-years-old. Naturally, he caught the attention of everyone, including the coach of the Cornwall College basketball team who encouraged him to join the team. Although he had his interests in track and field and football, he gave into the nudging and began his basketball journey.
“I developed a passion for the game, and it really took off in high school when I saw how the game was played on a higher level, when I saw people who were older and better than me, I really admired their game and aspired to get better and better every day until I am at the point where I am now,” he said.
He attended Cornwall College up to twelfth grade, and played the shooting guard, small forward, and center on different teams.
Senior is now 18-years-old, 6 feet 3 inches tall, and a student-athlete at the Herbert Morrison Technical High School. His decision to transfer to this institution, home of P.H.A.S.E.1’s first academy in Jamaica was influenced by the death of the basketball coach at Cornwall College, and what he described as the lack of resources at the school to develop his skills.
Since transferring to Herbert Morrison, Senior said he’s already seeing improvements in his game.
“The mentorship of Dave Black gives me a new perspective on the game because the coaching that I’ve received up to this point is practically at an elementary level in comparison to Dave Black’s coaching." Romario Senior
He added; "He pushes us to play the game at a certain speed and at a certain level, a quality that I didn’t experience at my past schools. It’s hard sometimes, but I know that it’s for the best."
And he said his skills training has only been bolstered by the resources provided through P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy.
“There are a few things that I didn’t have access to earlier in my basketball life and since joining P.H.A.S.E.1 I’ve had access to." Romario Senior
these to include certain equipment used for training. For example certain types of cones, there is this sponge that we use for contact finishing. Different balls for ball handling skills so that everybody can have at least two balls. Different player metric training that I was never introduced to, it’s just a new level now that I’ve started attending the academy.
And as he gets better at his game, his admiration for it grows. “I feel like basketball if played correctly, is an art. Because when the ball moves the right way and the team works to unify, the sport seems so flawless and I love that about it,” he said.
Senior shared that he’s open to playing professionally one day, but for now, he is focused on giving his best in the hopes of attaining a basketball scholarship to attend university.
“I didn’t have much growing up. I grew up in a very low socioeconomic background, and I see where my mother really struggled to make ends meet and to make sure that we go to school and I don’t want to pressure her anymore at this age for school fees and all those things,” he said of his upbringing in Lilliput, St James.
“I want to get something out of basketball at the end of the day. In the beginning, I just wanted to improve without a clear goal, but now at this age, I realized that I’ve put so much into basketball, I believe that I should get something out. What I want out of it is an education, so that’s what really pushes me,” he said.