Virgin Islander makes transition from hoops to fashion


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I first met Vernal "Jay" Maynard when he was a basketball player at Winston-Salem State University. I was new to the world of journalism and he was a 3-point shooting machine.

At that time, he lived, ate and slept basketball. He even played with the Virgin Islands national team in 2003 when they played against the Tim Duncan-led USA Dream Team. The 6-foot-2 guard then went on to coach basketball at Clay High School and Fayetteville State University. But one could see that something was missing. I knew he was headed to better things and it came in the form of fashion.

Yes, the tough jock loves to sew and stitch. The St. Thomas native is part owner of the Jun E Caniel boutique and is one of the main designers. He even has time to do public speaking as he has toured many colleges, and he will soon be off to Japan. I sat down with Jay, who goes by the name Jun E, to understand how that transformation took place.

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