- National Teams
Great Britain star Dan Clark has said it is time for the British Basketball Federation to show progress, expressing his frustration at the lack of headway the sport has made since 2012.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview for the Hoopsfix Podcast that will be released in the coming days, Clark has echoed Luol Deng’s sentiments made earlier this year about a lack of strategy and execution.
“I’d have to completely agree with what Luol has said,” Clark, who has just led the GB Senior Men to Eurobasket 2017 qualification, dismayed.
“I don’t think there is a long-term plan in place, at least, for where GB should be in the future. Obviously, things have been written and things have been said that have been put in place, but up until now since the Olympics, I personally haven’t seen anything that’s been written down put into action. “
The British Basketball Federation published the ‘Transforming Basketball in Britain Together’ document in May, and announced they would be forming six advisory working groups that will put together the actionable strategies to be put in place toward the end of 2016.
But Clark says, since BBF Chair Nick Humby coming into the role in January this year, there has been no visible progress.
“…Obviously Nick’s (Humby) been in charge for a year now, and I think he has to show some progress at some point because I can’t see the federation moving forward in any way so far this year.
“It will sound like a criticism, and it probably is, but I hope it serves as a constructive criticism to help things get better. That’s the only reason I would come out and say something like this.”
Clark’s frustration comes from GB’s inability to sell tickets to this summer’s home qualifiers, following their decision to take the ticketing and promotions away from the British Basketball League (BBL) earlier this year. The BBL had shown an upward trend in ticket sales for GB games in recent years, culminating with 5200 in attendance for last summer’s friendly against New Zealand.
Additionally, during the team’s preparation phase, Clark alleges his career was put at risk when he had been taking part without the realisation the BBF hadn’t fully insured him.
“You will have to get an official comment from GB,” he said of the insurance issues.
“It came down to the fact I wasn’t fully insured and it wasn’t to my knowledge that I wasn’t insured.”
The British Basketball Federation were contacted for comment, to which they have responded with the following statement:
“First of all, Dan and the rest of his players deserve every credit for qualifying for EuroBasket 2017. We thank them for what was a highly encouraging performance to qualify for next year.
“As for the items raised, as we have stated previously, an issue arose in the insurance policy which was resolved.
“Regarding long term plans, we always appreciate and encourage constructive criticism from our players and staff. The British Basketball Federation is engaged in a positive, co-operative manner to set a new direction for how we all work together. We have not imposed commitments on the game but are trying to seek a common approach for the greater good and that process remains ongoing.
“While we have our own responsibilities, it is up to the wider game as well to help bring that future to reality. No one individual or organisation can solve everything. An important season lies ahead with that in mind.”