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Featured / Sports / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / October 14, 2015

ST. CROIX — The 31st Legislature unanimously agreed that Virgin Islands basketball superstar Tim Duncan and legendary jockey Julio “Maganja” Felix should be honored for representing the territory on the world’s stage with exceptional performances in their respective careers. Governor Kenneth Mapp concurs as well.

Resolution No. 1822 (Bill No. 31-0243) — honors Duncan for his “accomplishments in his professional basketball career and his philanthropy and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands.” The other, commending the VI’s top jockey, rewards the star for his career achievements as “an established professional jockey and as an idol for the Virgin Islands community.”

Duncan will be presented with a special perma-plaque to celebrate the honor, according to a press release Senate President Neville James’ office issued in late September. Additionally, Spurs owner Peter Holt and the San Antonio Spurs organization will be presented with a similar plaque of appreciation.

During the legislative session where the resolutions were approved, James highlighted Duncan’s mastery of the fundamentals of the game, and his consistent high performance over a nearly 20-year career.

“In 1997, the 23rd Legislature awarded Timmy the Medal of Honor for his exceptional performance while playing for the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons. It is time that we celebrate his outstanding professional career and the fact that he has solidified his place as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history,” James said.

Duncan, born on April 25, 1976, has played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs. He is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year. He is also a 15-time NBA All-Star and the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in every one of his first 13 seasons.

As for Felix, riding horses was love at first sight, according to an interview he conducted with JockeysGuild in 2012.

“I always loved it from the beginning,” he said.  “The first horse I got on started walking and I fell on my head.  But I got back up and got back on.”

Felix rode a few races in the Virgin Islands over the course of a year and then went back to high school to earn his diploma.  He moved to Miami in 1989 and secured his first win in the United States at Calder Race Course that year. A successful run in Florida was interrupted by a fractured leg, and the time away affected his business there.  A trainer friend suggested he start anew at Thistledown, and many of his successes came during the 14 years he was based in Cleveland.  He holds six meet titles from Thistledown beginning in 1992 and twice, in 1992 and 1994, was the track’s leading rider for the full year. According to Equibase, the industry database, 78 of his 91 stakes wins came on the Ohio circuit, according to the site.

Felix’s career statistics include 21,545 starts, 2,754 firsts, 2,833 seconds and 2,801 thirds. He has earned $32,387,133 through his career, $1.3 million of which came this year alone, according to Equibase, a jockey profiling site.

Governor Mapp also approved a resolution that makes November “David Hamilton Jackson Month”.

At the time of Jackson’s birth, the territory was under the rule of Danish West Indies. Jackson was an important figure in the struggle for increased civil liberties and workers’ rights on the islands. He petitioned for freedom of the press as a journalist and owner of The Herald newspaper.

Jackson was also involved in the territory’s labor movement and, when the Danish West Indies became the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1917, he lobbied for citizenship for the islanders. These are just some of the many accomplishments of Jackson, who’s become synonymous with Virgin Islands culture.


Feature Image: NBA superstar Tim Duncan.

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Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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