Kleon Penn to represent Puerto Rico – Done so with BVI Baketball Federations blessing

Kleon PennKleon Penn has been given clearance by the BVI Basketball Federation (BVIBF)
to represent Puerto Rico, giving the player a chance to take his career in
basketball to a new level.

Whilst opening up new doors for Penn who was
born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, such a move does affect the development of the
game in the Biritsh Virgin Islands as a pillar of the senior team will no
longer be available.

However, the move required the full support of BVIBF
President Byron Hodge, which was given to allow the Player to transfer national

Penn grew up and developed on the island of Tortola, learning
to play basketball at a tender age and after completing high school he
fine-tuned his skills at McNeese State University.

In 2007, Penn played
for the first time in Puerto Rico as a member of the British Virgin Islands
National Team and that was when the Directors of the Puerto Rican Federation
knew that Penn was born in Fajardo and reportedly began inquiries into switching sports citizenship.

A few days
ago, the owners of the Humacao/Carolina chieftains/Giants formalized their request to the BVIBF to allow the switch of
Penn as a registered player of the BVI to Puerto Rico and allow him to play for
his new National Team.

“Two or three days ago I talked to executives of
the BVIBF and President Byron Hodge is supporting the transfer to Puerto Rico
one hundred percent, revealed Penn. “It is a personal decision. It was something
that I always thought from the first time that I knew that I could represent
Puerto Rico. It took me four years to make this decision. It is a big step in my
career. It’s something that’s going to help as a player. I will take it to
another level. There were many years analyzing it, until this year I took her,”
continued Penn.

A FIBA rule allows the athletes request for a transfer if
eligible. That was the case of Charlie Villanueva, who represented the United
States in his youth and then asked for a change to play with the Dominican

FIBA also ensures that transfers will help the development of
federations. In the case of Penn, the British Virgin Islands program would
suffer since he is a cornerstone in a pool where there is already a shortage of
players with professional experience.

The documentation of the transfer
of Penn has already been submitted by the local Federation, but it was not
possible to get a reaction from the Federal President, Carlos Beltran, to see if
the request will be approved by FIBA.

Penn’s agent doesn’t foresee any
problems, however. I don’t think that there are any problems. Kleon already
spoke with the President of the British Virgin Islands and has their support,”
he said.

Penn discussed his decision with his family and teammates and
said that the majority supported it. “My mom told me that she supported me, she
knows how much I love my island. And my friends also support me and they have
made this easier than I thought, he commented

The Puerto Rico-born Penn
is through his fourth season as a native player in the National Superior
Basketball (BSN), after being selected in the draw for 2010 and has the dream of
reaching the World Championships and Olympics, something that seems within reach
as a member of the national team.

Penn made the decision without any
guarantee from the Federation that he will be selected but Penn will be in the
front running as a replacement to the retiring Daniel Santiago. The other
established player is Peter John Ramos. So Penn looks like a suitable option,
with his solid defensive qualities.

He does have offensive limitations
and is currently averaging 4.8 points with 4.7 rebounds per game with an average
of 19 minutes playing time, but he is the leader of the tournament with 77
blocks (2.4).

“I know that I will have an opportunity to be on the team.
Anything can happen. I’m going to give 100% to make the team. If I don’t, it
will be fine but it is a risk I am taking, Penn said.