By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 27, 2016: A former NFL running back whose roots run to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, now wants to make history with a spot in the Summer Olympics.
Former Detroit Lions first-round pick Jahvid Best is trying to become the latest former NFL player to eye the Olympics, according to Saint Lucia news reports.
Best is hoping that because his father and six brothers and sisters were born on the island, he will be able to make the Saint Lucia track and field Olympic squad.
“I just want to bring pride to Saint Lucia, to the Olympic team, to the sport of athletics,” Best told St. Lucia News earlier this month. “I want to carry the flag around the track and make my family and country proud. I will be seeking a place on the team, representing my country would mean a lot to me, and to my family.”
The 5’10”, 199-pound Best was born in Vallejo, California but is hoping to get citizenship in Saint Lucia shortly and make the country’s squad for the Rio Olympics which starts officially on Aug. 5 in Brazil.
Best also has to run in a local qualifier and meet the standard time for entry: 10.16 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
According to race results from the Arnie Robinson Invitational in San Diego, Best hit that mark back on April 2nd, which was a personal best at the time and .01 seconds faster than what stands as the fastest 100m sprint in St. Lucian history.
St. Lucian national championships take place at the end of June so its left to be seen if Best can repeat his San Diego performance or better it and make history.
Best signed a five year, $9.8 million contract with the Lions on July 30th, 2010. He started 15 games, scoring his first career NFL rushing touchdowns in the regular season opener on September 12, 2010 against the Chicago Bears. By 2011, Best suffered a concussion on his second carry in the Lions third pre-season game of the season on August 19, 2011. On October 16, 2011, Best suffered another concussion and was placed on IR due to post concussion symptoms.
On November 3, 2012, Best was placed on injured reserve due to continuing post-concussion issues, ending his season without playing in any pre- or regular season games. In late November 2012 Best had been undergoing ‘cognitive therapy’ to treat his ‘post-concussive symptoms’, h oping to return to the field for the 2013 season.
On July 17, 2013, Best was released by the Lions due to his health problems.