- National Teams
At adidas EUROCAMP in June last year, we got the chance to have a chat with former GB U20 Head Coach, Dave Smart.
The fiery Canadian with an impressive track record was brought in to the British Basketball programme in 2012 to head up a talented squad that included future GB Senior players Devon van Oostrum and Ali Fraser. Though it did end with its best ever Division B European Championship finish at the time for the team (sixth), it was marred with a total culture clash.
Smart’s in-your-face, relentlessly aggressive style was a shock to a number of the players (Duco van Oostrum, father of Devon, touched upon it in one of his blogs from Sofia) and ended up overshadowing what should have been a positive summer for the programme.
“It was a learning experience for both groups,” Smart said in a candid interview.
“I came from an environment and culture that’s a little different, from a basketball perspective, than a lot of places, certainly different to what they were used to.”
Smart and the U20s finished top of their group in the first round (beating the team that went on to win the tournament, Croatia), before going 1-3 the rest of the way, with a 67-64 loss to Finland that proved to be the back breaker. Leading by 10 with a few minutes remaining in the third, GB suffered a meltdown to lose by three and from then on out the tournament went from bad to worse for them.
Watch the full interview above.