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Board Take Decision on “Future of British Basketball”

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07/05/2012

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Board Take Decision on “Future of British Basketball”

The Board of basketballscotland has undertaken a lengthy process of considering the “Future of British Basketball”.

Having collected a substantial amount of evidence across a range of critical factors including legal considerations, political impact, membership views and opinions, performance pathways and future governance structures, the Board considered a vast amount of information at its meeting on Thursday 28 June 2012.  The Independent Consultant’s report on the Membership Consultation can be viewed by clicking here.

Despite this being an extremely complex decision, with pro’s and con’s for each option, following detailed consideration of the options available, the Board was unanimous in its decision.

With responsibility to take decisions for the best interests of the Sport in Scotland, the Board decided unanimously to support the proposed future British Basketball Structure.

The Board is firmly of the view that there are major benefits for Scottish athletes and the player pathway in Scotland available from working as an equal partner in a British Basketball structure.

The Board considered information provided by FIBA, British Basketball, sportscotland, UK Sport, the membership and various other partners.   Through the process, the Board was able to ensure that Scotland would be an equal partner in British Basketball and that there would be additional benefits for Scottish Basketball.  Additionally, FIBA was willing to provide some additional support for the player pathway, which is outlined below.

Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA, praised basetballscotland on the process to date, stating: “It is clear to me that basketballscotland has undergone a thorough process.  They have continually pushed to ensure that the best interests of Scottish Basketball are protected and asked considered and thought provoking questions throughout the process.  I believe that basketballscotland’s decision will accelerate the development of the sport in Scotland and FIBA will support that however we can.”

With Scottish players currently in all 4 GB Squads, Scotland is currently in a strong position.  With support agreed for improvements to the player development systems, there is potential for Scotland to become even stronger as a part of British Basketball.  GB Performance Director, Chris Spice commented “Scottish athletes continue to make a great contribution to British teams at under 20 and senior levels, for both men and women. With more focus and support from British Basketball in the future, Scotland can make even more improvements in their performance pathway and develop players and coaches who can contribute at the very highest levels of international basketball. We look forward to further developing our already strong relationship with the Basketball Scotland elite programme to ensure that both Scotland and Great Britain can maximise our on-court performances for years to come.”

A key consideration for the Board was the ability for Scotland to continue to compete as Scotland and guarantees have been provided to allow this to happen within the British structure.  There will be a 4 year transition period, through until 2016, during which time Scotland will continue to compete in FIBA Europe competition.  Additionally, Scotland will continue to compete in European Competition at under-16 level 2020 at least, in order to support the development of the player pool.  In addition, basketballscotland has received confirmation that Scotland’s ability to qualify for and compete in the Commonwealth Games will be protected and, with basketball included in the 2018 Games in Australia, Scotland’s top players will have the opportunity to represent Scotland and Great Britain at major events.

Additionally, providing the aspiration for Scottish basketball players to compete at the Olympic Games is seen as a significant benefit for the sport, which would be removed if there was no British structure in place.

Rose Anderson, who will play at this Summers Olympic Games commented “The opportunity to represent GB at the Olympics is one of the proudest moments of my career. Every basketball player dreams of taking part in the event and I can’t wait for it to start.

The changes being proposed will be great for the future of Scottish basketball.  I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to play at an Olympic Games and this is thanks to the support and coaching I received when I was younger.  A move to the GB structure will hopefully enhance the Scottish pathway and provide even more opportunities for Scottish players to achieve what I have been able to.”

A more detailed outline of the Board’s considerations is included below.  The Board acknowledge that, as with any major decision, there may be people who are not supportive of the decision, but the Board believes that the evidence shows that there many who are supportive of this direction.

Scotland’s first NBA player, Robert Archibald, who was today selected to the GB Olympic Team, commented:  “There are a lot of very talented basketball players in Scotland and it is important that we ensure that they have access to the best coaching and development. The GB structure will provide this and over the next few years Scottish players will benefit from the increased access to the highest standards of competition, coaching and development.

I have been very lucky to have achieved a lot during my career including the opportunity to play in the NBA.  It all started in Scotland and without this foundation I wouldn’t have been able to progress to where I have. I’m confident that basketballscotland, working with the GB structure, can enhance the coaching and development and result in more Scottish players getting the chance to do what I have done. It’s an exciting time for the Sport in Britain and in Scotland and I’m sure we’ll see more Scottish athletes at the highest levels of the sport over the coming years.”

In considering the decision, there are a number of areas that the Board viewed as vital to the growth of the game and has had agreement from British Basketball and FIBA and these are outlined in greater detail below:

Structure and Governance

-          Basketball in Scotland will retain benefit from being an equal partner in a British Structure:

  • basketballscotland will remain responsible for the governance, management and development of the game in Scotland.
  • The purpose of British Basketball in future will remain to provide a performance outlet for the best players from each Home Country.
  • Scotland will be an equal partner in British Basketball with the other Home Country National Federations.
  • Any future changes to the structure of British Basketball will require Scotland’s agreement.
  • There will be Scottish representation at Strategic Level within the British Basketball structures.
  • The opportunity to revisit the Scotland’s position should political Independence become a reality.

Performance Pathway – Teams

-          Scotland will continue to compete as Scotland:

  • Ability to compete as Scotland in the Commonwealth Games and assurances that Scotland will have an opportunity to qualify.
  • Ability for Scotland to enter FIBA Europe Competitions for the next 4 years at all levels.
  • A further 4 years at u16 Level (to 2020 at least) agreed by FIBA in order to support the development of the player pool in Scotland.
  • Commitment to an annual quality programme for Scottish National Squads at u16, u18 and Senior levels from 2016 onwards.
  • Commitment to provision of high quality competition outlets for Scottish teams by British basketball.

 

Performance Pathway – Athletes

-          Athletes will have more opportunity and support to reach the highest levels of the sport:

  • Provides the opportunity for Scottish athletes to compete at Olympic Games and World Championships.  Without a British Basketball structure this opportunity would be lost to future generations of athletes.
  • Investment from British Basketball to establish two “National Institutes of Basketball” in Scotland over the next 8 years, in order to provide intense development for the highest potential Scottish athletes and support their development within their club.
  • Continued and potentially increased support from Scottish Institute of Sport for performance athletes in Scotland.
  • Opportunity for talented athletes to represent Great Britain at top level of European and World basketball.

Performance Pathway – Coaches and Officials

-          Increased ability to provide improved development opportunities for coaches and officials:

  • British Basketball agreement to provide additional support for Scottish coaches.
  • Increased opportunities for Scottish Coaches to be part of GB set-up.
  • Access to British Basketball coaches for coach development initiatives in Scotland.
  • Protected opportunities for Scottish Officials to qualify to FIBA level.
  • Opportunities for Scottish Officials to officiate world class competition.
  • A transparent and fair process for the appointment of officials to Great Britain Games hosted in the Home Countries.

Investment into Basketball

-          The ability to maintain and grow investment into Basketball in Scotland and Great Britain:

  • Ability to maintain and grow investment from sportscotland into the Scottish Basketball pathway.  Without a “World Class” performance outlet, it is likely a number of doors would close to basketball.
  • Continued support for high potential athletes from the Scottish Institute of Sport.
  • Continued UK Sport investment in basketball – not possible without a British Basketball structure – and a strong position for basketballscotland to make a case for this investment to support the performance pathway in Scotland.
  • Continued British Basketball investment in basketballscotland’s Head of Basketball staff position.
  • Additional investment from British Basketball in National Institutes of Basketball in Scotland.
  • The potential to attract Olympic Solidarity funding for development projects in the Home Country Federations.

Promotion of the Sport

-          A joint approach to increasing the exposure of the sport throughout Great  Britain:

  • Agreement to host British Basketball events and Training Camps in Scotland
  • Agreement to Bring GB players and coaches to Scotland to support the promotion and development of the sport.
  • Development of a joint plan to increase the exposure of basketball throughout Great Britain.

The Board of basketballscotland has confirmed this position to British Basketball Federation and FIBA and now await confirmation from FIBA of the next steps in the process.

The current landscape provides a huge opportunity to vastly accelerate the development of basketball in Scotland.

There is much to be done by basketballscotland and the basketball community to ensure Scotland is a major contributor to future British Basketball squads, but the opportunities this presents for the sport are massive.

Keiron Achara, another who has just been confirmed as a 2012 Olympian, is positive about the future, “Scottish Basketball played a major part in my development and I think that working with British Basketball, Scotland will get stronger and more Scots will get the opportunities that I have had.”

If you have any enquiries on this matter please contact ceo@basketball-scotland.com

 

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