Baldonado Takes to the Pros

Stuard Baldonado, one of five Duquesne players injured in an on-campus shooting 15 months ago, joined the Miami Tropics professional team in November, and played with the Tropics this week in FIBA competition. He won't have a chance to play college basketball but remains connected to DU. Earlier this year, Baldonado sued Duquesne because of the shooting and its effect on his earning capacity.

Stuard Baldonado signed with the Miami Tropics professional team owned by Art Alvarez, who was instrumental in helping Baldonado's move to the United States and gave him an opportunity to play organized basketball in the states.

The 6-foot-7, 225 pounder, who played at The Winchendon School (MA) and Miami-Dade College was regarded as one of the top JUCO prospects in 2006 and as the best player in Coach Ron Everhart's first rebuilding effort. Injuries to his left arm and back (by a bullet that missed his spine by a fraction of an inch), forced him to miss the entire 06-07 season.

No on can tell what the story might be today if he had played last season. He ran into trouble with the law and was suspended from school and the basketball team for at least one year. Drug charges were dismissed by Pittsburgh Municipal Court in mid-November. He was fined $100.00 plus court costs. (The other incident was a domestic violence charge in Miami.)

    "The main thing I want to do right now is to apologize. I want to apologize to the athletic director, Greg Amodio, for not letting him know about my situation in Florida. I wanted to protect my scholarship, but I should have let him know. I just want him to know how sorry I am about embarrassing the basketball program with all of the situations." (Tribune-Review, 11/15/07)

The Colombian native was to be an integral part in this year's team. He would have been the missing link, the strong post player, to complement the athletic and trimmer Kieron Achara and Shawn James.

The Tropics, the only United States team remaining in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Americas first round tournament held at Florida International this week, won the Group B competition with a 3-0 record. Baldonado played in the final two games. He had had six rebounds and two points in 10 minutes in the Tropics' 103-88 win over Mexico's Fuerza Regia and 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds in the 81-71 win over Capitanes de Arecibo of Puerto Rico Wednesday.

The Tropics will play the reigning champions of Puerto Rico, Santurce, in the FIBA quarterfinals scheduled for January 16, 2008, on the island commonwealth.

Duquesne, 6-3 this season and number 56 in the early RPI ratings, returns to action in the Palumbo Center next Friday, December 21, 2007, against Saint Francis (PA) at 7:00 p.m. The Red Flash secured their second win via a 75-66 victory at Robert Morris led by sophomore Devin Sweetney's season high 19 points and career high six steals.

SFU hosts Lock Haven and Iona next week before their trip to Pittsburgh.


DukesSports Top Stories