Jerry Bent the Colombian basketball player was born on August 5th, 1963 in San Andrés (Colombia), at a very young age enjoyed practicing his skills in different sports such as soccer, high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin and basketball; sport which he describes is the last one he practiced and the one he fell in love with, since the first day he trained. It all started on his school’s field, where he stayed for hours, even long nights practicing, dribbling and learning to shoot the ball, the adversities of his environment were barely noticeable to him, but his conviction and love for basketball were greater than the misfortune of his native place. “It was difficult, we did not have the resources to buy sports shoes to even practice, when I trained I stayed at school from 7pm to 11pm practicing without electricity, learning to dribble, to shoot, etc... there were times that my parents sent my brothers to look for me on the court because it was 12 or 1am and I haven’t had yet come to home.”
At the age of 16, he began playing Basketball knowing that it would be the best tool to access easily into the academy, this is how his studies began at the Instituto Bolivariano, then he finished his high school at the Instituto Liceo México in Bogotá and completed five semesters of Business Administration at the Universidad Central de Bogotá. Although he did not end his career due to lack of financial support, he did not let basketball aside and remained faithful to continue with his passion for this wonderful sport. When Bent arrived in Bogotá he began competing at a national level and his sports career boomed, that was when he was 19 years old and became part of the Colombian National Team and represented his country in the South American Senior championship (Medellín-85 and Guayaquil- 89), in the College World Cup in Yugoslavia-88 and also in several College Central American Tournaments (Cuba 86 and 87), just to mention some of them. “I had many competitive tournaments being part of the U20, U23, Colombia senior team, I participated in the Pan American, Central American and South American college tournaments, I was in the College Olympic games in Zagreb (Croatia), also I did represent my country as a substitute in the first league of Venezuela and participated in Ecuador, Chile and many other competitions.”
He was always very dedicated and disciplined, he stood out for his elasticity to jump and be a really good shooter, quite possibly that is why he has earned the nickname among colleagues of "El Látigo", or simply his dynamism and conviction at the time of playing the game earned him this merit. Every night when training, Bent was clear about his goal: to be the best player in Colombia (at this time) in the position of power forward and that was what he set out to do until he achieved it with a lot of effort, sacrifice, training and sports concentrations that at the end gave results and he remembers now with deep affection. “I had recognition from my country and the basketball guild as being the best power forward, because it was said that due to my height it would be very difficult.”
Bent's career was so significant that his talent at some point began to make certain people uncomfortable, as he championed most of the tournaments he attended, one of the things he remembers being the most tragic in his sports career was in 1988 playing for San Andrés when unfortunately he receives a bullet impact in the right hand while playing, all with the intention that this great talent would be prevented from culminating the championship and his team could not become once again national champion of basketball in the senior league. This was critical in the life of this great athlete, as the doctors assured he would not play again, since probably he would lose the right hand middle finger. However, thanks to the support of his team, San Andrés government and a medical eminence of orthopedic limb surgery managed to recover satisfactorily and he continued playing three months after this unfortunate event.
Jerry Bent played competitive basketball until he was 40 years old. He gave his very best to it and always had great achievements until the end, being the best 2-point scorer in his last national championship with Cúcuta and managed to make a national record of 58 points without any triple. It is at this point that he decides to finish his sports career, because for him there was no better time than to finish it being at the top and make his name unforgettable in the Colombian Basketball community. “I competed in the golden age of basketball in my country, I played with many good people at this discipline such as Guido Mosquera, Alvaro Alvarez, Guajiro Romero, Jose Tapias, Jimmy Palmer, Luis Murillo, William Nieto, William Gómez and many others, all of them were my teachers and I really had unforgettable moments with these guys. I must thank them also because I learned a lot from them and thanks to them I gained a lot of strength and knowledge.”
Currently he lives a normal life, he is dedicated to his family (wife and children), he does his very best to help them get ahead and make them great people like him. Bent ensures his greatest achievement at the moment is having managed to establish himself as a person with values and good manners and he is happy to have emotional stability. He thanks God because he has a united family and he is grateful with the Basketball life he took because he knows that he managed with effort to become one of the best in the country. Bent is undoubtedly an exemplary player, because despite all the obstacles he had from the beginning, he persevered and was convinced of all the triumphs he would have with this sport, not only at a competitive level, but also on a personal level, he studied and complemented his talent with education. "My advice for children today is that any sport they want to practice, do it with the greatest responsibility or respect for the discipline, work hard!... this is a tool to achieve your academic dreams and sports gives you the opportunity to meet people, interact with them, grow as a person, have more ambition and be above all a better person in life."