By Carlena Knight
One former national basketballer turned coach is adamant that for Antigua and Barbuda to truly stamp its name in the international basketball arena that focus must be placed on the development of the younger generation.
Ernest Scott, who is of Barbudan heritage and now coaches in the NBA G League with the Los Angeles Lakers, believes that more grassroot programmes need to be implemented as the talent is already there.
“I think starting these guys younger and developing them, because that’s what they do in the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands and that’s how when these guys become men they’re professionals already and you are not teaching teenagers and trying to teach them the game because you know they are tall but if we get these kids younger and develop that reputation.
“There is so much talent [here]. It was really amazing when I saw just out of the guys that were on the national team and, like I said, a lot of them didn’t start playing until they were 13 or older. So, if we can get the grassroots going because the coaches are there with Coach Hughes, Wanga, Supa and Coach Browne, those are just the guys I seen and then you have the older guys, Lennox, Mario, Hollywood who are willing to give back to them young guys then everything you need is there,” said Scott.
Scott was a part of both the bronze medal team in 2015 in Tortola as well as the silver medalist team in 2018. He was also a professional player having played in countries like Greece and New Zealand before moving into his present role as assistant coach of the South Bay Lakers in the G League.
Scott spoke on what it meant for him to have gained such a position.
“It’s a real great situation. Unlike most G League teams, the G League and NBA Team are apart. We are in the same facility. We are around their coaches. We are around their players. They are always practicing before us so to be up close and be able to see Lebron, Anthony Davis and all those guys day in and day out it’s an amazing opportunity and hopefully and if this season works out and we are able to play these games so that I can be able to go back next year and continue on the journey but I just feel a lot of pride, just blessed.”
Scott was speaking on the Good Morning JoJo sports show.