PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Opong Bramble is spending his summer representing his native country in international competition.
Bramble is participating with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Caribbean Pre-Qualifier in Suriname, on the northeastern coast of South America.
The top two countries emerging from the tournament will move on to the qualifier in September.
"It's a huge honor because of how small a country we are," said Bramble, who was born on the southern Caribbean island nation, which has a population of nearly 110,000. "Any chance to put us on the map or do something great is always a big deal for me because I love my country and I just want people to know about us. So I'll do whatever it takes to make us rise to greatness."
Bramble was born on the island and moved away at age 3. He holds dual citizenship between Canada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Through three games in Group A play, Bramble has logged nine minutes and sank one field goal.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 1-2 so far. The nation suffered a pair of two-point defeats — 104-102 to Guyana and 88-86 to host Suriname. It then rebounded with an 80-61 victory against St. Lucia. Group plays wraps up with a game against Grenada on Thursday.
Bramble also participated in the same qualifying tournament in 2014 in the British Virgin Islands.
As a freshman with the NYIT men's basketball team in 2017-18, the 6-foot-7 Bramble appeared in all 30 games (13 starts), averaging 5.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He also produced a 3.6 GPA for the academic year.
"My first year at NYIT helped me to mature in terms of my basketball intelligence and just understanding the finer details of the game," Bramble said. "It also helped me become better in terms of my skills, so that I could better hold my own against the professional players I'm now playing against every night."