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Isley not amused

Isley not amused

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If local basketball coaches do not get their act together soon, the sport could find itself deeper in the wilderness.{{more}}

And, their nonchalance is getting under the skin of Olympic Solidarity Course Instructor Nelson Isley.

On the last month of his three month stint here, Isley has described the response by local coaches as “one of the worst”, in his many years of travel, conducting similar courses.

“It is one of the worst responses I have had from coaches in all my travel, and I have gone to about ninety countries,” Isley said.

“Is there a lack of interest by the coaches or there are not many coaches here?” he questioned.

“This is making some of my objectives difficult to meet”, Isley moaned.

The outspoken Isley was expecting a better response, since reports were that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation had liaised with several persons associated with coaching, and was assured of their participation.

Born in North Carolina in the USA, Isley, who has worked in other Caribbean territories, arrived here November last year, and has conducted several clinics on the mainland as well as in Union Island and Bequia.

“The response in most of the areas from the kids has been tremendous”, Isley observed.

However, he was singing a different tune when it was the turn to interface with the coaches.

He revealed that in some areas, not a single coach turned up, while in one instance, one person with a coaching status was present at his session.

“I see here a lot of natural athleticism. Kids around 8 and 9 are just natural and they are very enthusiastic”, the FIBA instructor said.

“But who is going to do the work with the youngsters when I leave?” he asked.

Isley is amazed that with the available natural talent, the sport is still mainly played at a recreational level.

He is further peeved with the evident lack of interest, in light of the fact that this country has produced an NBA player and two WNBA players.

Isley thought that the exploits of Adonal Foyle, Sophia Young and Sancho Lyttle on the US professional basketball circuit would have been a motivating factor all round.

He re-iterated the need for the coaches to come on board, by pointing to the successes of Argentina, Spain, the USA, and Brazil, whose coaching structures were responsible for the continuous development of basketball players.

Isley plans, though, to make one last hurrah at reversing the disinterest here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“In mid February, I would be conducting an Advanced Coaching Certification for those who were certified in 1999 to 2003”, Isley stated in a voice of concern.

“There are validating consequences as re-certifying of these coaches is a requirement of FIBA”, Isley, a former LSU College player said.

He revealed that inclusive in the upcoming advanced recertification exercise, participants would also be examined.

“That’s one of the reasons why I am here”, he added.

Isley is wary of the overall repercussions for future basketball development courses, as well as assistance from the governing body FIBA for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

But he is hopeful that things will turn around, and that would complete the otherwise rewarding stint here so far.

However, Isley was high in praise for the warm welcome he has received from the Vincentian public.

“I have met some lovely people here; the members of the Olympic Committee, Wayne (Williams-President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation), all have made my stay an enjoyable one”, a complimentary Isley remarked.

Isley’s three month programme wraps up March 6.

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