Sat | Feb 16, 2019

Turner right for Ja's b-ball future, says JaBA president

Published:Tuesday | January 15, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Youngsters learning basketball at a camp staged at Jamaica College on July 2, 2018. File

Jamaica basketball Association (JaBA) President Paulton Gordon says the consensus in his administration is that newly appointed national men's basketball coordinator, Ric Turner, is the person the sport needs to move forward.

According to Gordon, his executives met with the American initially to discuss him getting involved with Jamaica's basketball programme and they unanimously agreed that he showed the expertise and knowledge it requires to go to the next level.

"He has been coming to Jamaica for the last 13 years, Gordon said. "He initiated the Jump Ball programme, so he is usually here in the summer.

When I started my term, he reached out to me, and when he came for Jump Ball last year, I met him and introduced him to our development people. They had discussions, and the consensus was that he is the person we want to assist us to grow the sport.

"So we invited him to our (2018) Star Search, and he participated, and subsequently, ,we have been discussing terms and conditions of signing him as men's coordinator.

"The development committee has also been very impressed with his background and his knowledge. But we also believe he has the network and other pieces in terms of strengthening Jamaica's basketball. He will not be confined to mere coaching, he will be trying to build some other pieces we think are critical to Jamaica."

Turner arrived in the island last Thursday and met with key figures on the development committee stakeholders. He also visited a number of schoolboy games at the weekend. Before departing Sunday. Gordon said all the meetings were encouraging.

"He met the development committee to outlined his expectations and start establishing his programme. We stopped by JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) and met some persons and few potential partners who might be interested in supporting Jamaican basketball. He was assigned in December, so his tenure started already. He is now in preparation mode for development activities," Gordon said.

"We have him more like a technical director. So anybody who will assist him in terms of coaching will be coordinated by him, so his role is more than basic coaching," he added.

Gordon said Turner will need time to develop the programme he has envisioned and to establish his database of local talent that will be available for future selection, before he takes up residence locally.