Friday, April 12, 2024

Isley to reform basketball

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THE MAN who drove Barbados’ last hoops success seems set on making a second go-around.
Thirteen years after leading both national teams to regional basketball glory, highly-rated FIBA (International Basketball Federation) expert Nelson Isley could be coming back to spearhead a reformation of the entire local structure as soon as October.
The project comes as part of a grant from the Olympic Solidarity movement which will serve to examine and improve the entire governance of basketball here.
“He would basically be coming to help us fine-tune what we’re doing in terms of identifying talent, training coaches and helping the coaches get into the primary schools to expand the talent pool,” explained Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) president Derrick Garrett.
“We really want to have more youngsters playing basketball, we need more coaches and we need a better structure overall so our long-term goals can be achieved.
“So I can see this project having a significant impact on the long-term improvement of local basketball.”
A draft pick of the then NBA franchise Buffalo Braves in 1971, Isley made a name for himself across the globe by turning around the fortunes of national programmes while training those countries’ coaches.
And Barbados got a first-hand view of the American’s reformation talents when he guided both the men’s and women’s national teams to their respective titles at the Caribbean Basketball Championships as technical director in 2000.
But his long awaited return isn’t a certainty just yet, as the BABA appears to have some differences with Isley over the time period of the project.
“We were looking at three two-month stints, with the first starting in October and the continuing in February before finishing sometime in June, but he wants to start next year and run it for the entire year,” said Garrett.
“Clearly, the time frame he’s looking at is not the same that we’re looking at, so we’re still in negotiations with him, but hopefully, we can get this done.”
Barbados, most notably the men’s squad, haven’t fared well at their last three tournaments since Isley’s departure, settling for fifth place in 2005 and two sixth-place finishes in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

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