Jamaica’s sports minister pays heartfelt tribute to basketball stalwart Marland Nattie: Late JABA vice president remembered at emotional funeral

By December 03, 2023

In a solemn ceremony at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Saturday, Jamaica's Sports Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange, paid a touching tribute to the late Marland Washington Nattie, Vice President of the Jamaica Basketball Association.

Nattie, a stalwart in the world of basketball, passed away on October 8 after battling a massive stroke. His funeral drew mourners from across the basketball and sports fraternity who gathered to bid farewell to a beloved figure. They included Paulton Gordon, President of the Jamaica Basketball Association, past JABA president Ajani Williams, Christopher Samuda, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association as well as past Netball Jamaica President Marva Bernard and members of the Sunshine Girls.

Addressing the congregation, Minister Grange reflected on Nattie's character and contributions, stating, "A heart of gold has stopped beating. Working hands are at rest. Marland Washington Nattie was as good to people as he was a powerhouse in the sport of basketball."

Nattie, survived by his wife of more than a decade, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie, a former national netball player and coach, and daughter Coleen, was remembered not only for his sporting achievements but also for his compassion and generosity. Minister Grange highlighted Nattie's selfless acts, including purchasing a house for his mother to uplift her from challenging circumstances.

"He was a disciplinarian who stood for integrity, but he was kind. He Coleen to always help others. He lived by the ancient African word, Ubuntu, which means ‘humanity to others.’ It reminds us that, 'I am what I am because of who we all are,'" expressed Minister Grange.

Marland Nattie's impact on the basketball community was immeasurable. As a player, coach, and administrator, he devoted his life to the sport. Minister Grange acknowledged his multifaceted contributions, stating, "He gave his all to the sport as a player, coach, and administrator. We benefited from his lifetime love and affinity for basketball."

Despite his significant role in sports, Nattie's character extended beyond the court. Minister Grange shared, "Most persons in sports would hesitate to 'big up' a politician or a minister of government, but he would always speak highly of me even in the media."

 Nattie served as the President of the Jamaica Basketball Association on multiple occasions, contributing significantly to the development of basketball in Jamaica and the Caribbean region. His recent role as Vice President in charge of development at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) underscored his commitment to the sport beyond national borders.

Expressing the sorrow of losing Nattie just when recovery seemed imminent, Minister Grange remarked, "It is particularly sad that Marland’s passing on October 8, 2023, came just when we thought he was on the road to recovery from his illness."

 

In conclusion, the Minister extended her gratitude, saying, "As Minister of Sport and on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, I must say thanks to Marland Washington Nattie for his herculean work to take the sport of Basketball to another level not just in Jamaica but in the Region."

 The heartfelt tribute concluded with condolences to Nattie's family and the entire basketball community. "Nattie, your life was truly a blessing, your memory a real treasure. May the Angels welcome him to the Heavenly Court and peace be his in the Eternity," said Minister Grange.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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