St. John’s Antigua- Newly appointed head coach of the Antigua & Barbuda senior national basketball team, Craig “Imp” Anthony, has downplayed talks of a potential conflict of interest where his newfound role as coach and his position as an executive member of the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) are concerned.
Anthony, during an interview with OBSERVER Sports on Tuesday, said he is not bothered by the accusations, saying that he has been a member of the national set-up for some time now and that he does not foresee any problems going forward.
“From where I am sitting, I don’t see any controversy or any problems going forward. I have been, again, assistant coach for the Antigua & Barbuda team since 2001. I am well qualified. I am an eight times playoff champion and 12 times league champions; so in my estimation I am more than qualified,” he said.
“As I always tell people, Antigua is a small place and we live in a small community. Almost everybody who holds a position in Antigua is holding more than one seat or, as we like to say, have on more than one hat. If you look at football, the president of the Football Association (Everton Gonsalves) is part of the Villa Lions set-up. But should he resign being the president because he is part of the Villa Lions set-up? I don’t think so, but it is not like we have a million people living in Antigua and it’s hard to find people to fill these shoes,” Anthony added.
The coach, who has won several national titles as head coach of the Baldwin Braves team, said it has always been his desire to work at the top level.
“It has always been an honour for me to go out and represent my country and for being the headman to go out and represent Antigua & Barbuda is an honour to me and it is something I have been looking forward to for quite some years now,” he said.
“I have been the assistant coach for about three or four different head coaches and it definitely helped to prepare and sharpen me for what is to come in 2013,” he added.
The basketball association had named a 40-member training squad last week as they look to jumpstart preparations for next year’s Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) tournament slated for The Bahamas.
Asked why such a large training squad, Anthony said they wanted to give everyone a fair opportunity to make the final cut.
“We have a lot of youngsters, especially coming from the sister island. We have between four and six players over there who have good size. We have not seen much of them and locally we have a lot of youngsters who are on the line waiting to be a part of something and I just didn’t want to leave anybody out,” he said.
“I wanted to give everybody a fair shoot; the young guys plus the veteran players. Forty players is a large number to be dealing with definitely but you want to give everybody and equal chance to be part of the team.”
The squad is slated to commence training at the middle of August.