By Cindy Jackson
September 11, 2019
On September 7, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners officially welcomed Nassau Pride to Nassau County with the unamimous adoption of a resolution.
The Nassau Pride is the first American Basketball Association (ABA) league team in Nassau County and will begin their first season in November 2019.
The ABA currently has over 70 teams with nearly 1000 players, over 200 coaches and as over 200 officials. Teams play with the signature red, white and blue ball.
As outlined in the resolution, the team was founded by Darrin Eakins and Dr. Jeremy Coleman, two local entrepreneurs who wanted to provide a new level of sports and entertainment to this part of Northeast Florida.
A native of Nassau County, Dr. Coleman is the Medical Director at UF Health in Yulee, specializing in family health and sports medicine. Dr. Coleman received his doctorate from Duke University.
Darrin Eakins is the owner of Golden Age Innovations and the Co-Founder of HoopGrind Basketball in Jacksonville, Florida. A graduate of Florida A&M University, it was there where he discovered his passion for business and sports entertainment.
According to the Nassau Pride website, teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) that started in the ABA include the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers, the Denver Nuggets, and the Brooklyn Nets.
NBA all-stars that played in the ABA include such well-known athletes as Julius “Dr. J” Irving, Rick Barry, George “Iceman” Gervin, Artis Gilmore, Moses Malone and Connie Hawkins.
Nassau Pride is committed to providing ongoing education programs and is partnering with the school district and other community organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, D.A.R.E. and the Amateur Athletic Association (AAU).
For more information about the team and the league, go to https://www.nassaupride.com/about-1.
Editor’s Note: Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, Cindy received her BA in Political Science from Dickinson College. Upon graduation, Cindy began her career on Capitol Hill working as a legislative aide and director. She later became a part of the public relations and lobbying team of the American Iron and Steel Institute and served as director of the office of state legislative affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Cindy was involved in economic development with the state of Maryland, and served as executive director of Leadership Washington County. As a community volunteer, Cindy participates in numerous volunteer activities serving as a member of Sunrise Rotary, and as board member of Cummer Amelia Board of Directors.