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Basketball England have announced the appointment of Steve Bucknall as Performance and Technical Manager.
The board appointments panel were unanimous in their choice to select the domestic legend to the post, who was the first Englishman to play in the NBA in the modern-era, suiting up for the Lakers in the ’89-90 season.
Basketball England have announced Steve Bucknall has been hired as the new Performance and Technical Manager for the sport. 🏴🏀
— Hoopsfix 🇬🇧🏀 (@Hoopsfix) February 15, 2019
With his appointment, Bucknall will be tasked with helping basketball in England move forward with the implementation of BE’s talent plan to create a world class talent system as outlined in their Strategic Plan: Growing Basketball Together, whilst supporting the growth and development of players, coaches and all that work with talented people in the sport.
“I am delighted to take up this role at Basketball England and apply all my knowledge, skills and determination to help others succeed and help take the sport forward,” Bucknall said.
“I am looking forward to working with national teams, clubs, coaches and staff, officials and volunteers who work in talent and at community level to raise standards and support young people to develop.
“Basketball changes lives. I am very excited about using the power of basketball in this role to help more young players engage in the sport and fulfil their own ambitions in life.”
After a playing career that saw him attend the University of North Carolina, before plying his trade in Germany, Greece, Italy, France and England, whilst garnering 92 caps for England and 22 for Great Britain, Bucknall set up his club London Thunder in Lewisham, which has teams ranging from Under-12 through to Senior, male, female and wheelchair basketball provision.
Basketball England Chair, Clare Wardle, added: “We are all delighted to welcome Steve to this role. He is totally committed to basketball and he will help us deliver the step change we need.”
Bucknall is also a Regional Talent Manager for London, and, controversially, a board member of Basketball England, a post he has since resigned from after being awarded the role.
There were three members of the Basketball England board on the interviewing panel, along with two senior Basketball England executives, plus two independent external members.
“The position of Performance and Technical Manager was advertised and open to all applicants,” Basketball England responded, to a request for comment from Hoopsfix.
“It is exactly the qualities that led our members to put Steve forward as a member elected director in September 2016 that make him the best person for this job but clearly he cannot now fulfil both roles. As such, he has resigned from the Board with immediate effect.
“Both the Board and Sport England have ensured that Steve was not involved in any part of this appointment process as that would give rise to a conflict of interest. All candidates had the same opportunity and information throughout the recruitment for this position.”
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