Raffle fiasco led to change
Nation basketball writer Justin Marville takes a look back at last week’s Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s general elections.
SO DERRICK GARRETT is back at the helm again and we’re left to bask in what has become the recent stability of local hoops following last week’s rather uneventful elections.
And yet, amidst the serenity, all that comes to mind is probably the one thing that shouldn’t.
Yes, that failed and near disastrous raffle of 2010 sticks in my conscious just like the time in The Ring when that girl horrifically walks through the screen.
But not for the reasons others choose to remember it, because for me, that raffle was probably the best thing to have ever happened to Bajan basketball.
Well, in the last ten years at least.
That’s not even sarcasm, far from really, as there isn’t a single watershed moment that I’m more grateful for than when all those stories broke surrounding the possible fallout of the last-minute cancellation of a draw for a house and car worth $480 000.
Yeah, yeah, basketball could’ve been on the hook for an easy $10 000, get setback by another decade, be in financial ruin for a decade more and become the black swan of domestic sports among other Nostradamus-like possibilities.
That didn’t happen, though. And with hindsight on my side, I can show exactly what really happened as a direct result of the Coverley project.
If you’re directly involved in local basketball, then you’ve probably praised Garrett’s leadership at one point or another during the last three years, but have you ever wondered what led him to seek the presidency?
Yup, that’s right. If Garrett was the camel then you can guess what the ole straw that finally broke his back was and prompted the long-serving organizing secretary to at long last seek the top post after spending two previous terms as a mere foot soldier.
Have doubts? Then consider that Garrett announced his decision to seek the presidency less than a month subsequent to the executive cancelling the raffle after being content to serve in a lower position for the last four years.
And he was prepared to run against an incumbent he publicly supported for the position just two years earlier.
Still not convinced? Then surely you weren’t present for Garrett’s address at last month’s awards gala – the one where he said he adopted an organization “in total financial chaos as a result of a failed raffle”.
So now that you have a better understanding as to why, maybe you’re pondering exactly how Garrett became president.
Yes, you’ve guessed it again. If Garrett was indeed the engine driving his team to victory at the polls in 2011 then you could only imagine what proved to be the bulldozer which made the path that much clearer.
How then do you account for one of the highest voter turnouts at an election that came directly on the heels of the raffle’s abandonment?
Those would’ve been the same voters who turned out right after a council member publicly came out and said he wasn’t aware of the raffle until it was actually launched.
It isn’t enough that you know why or how Garrett became president, though, because you may be questioning just how he became a good one.
Well look no further. If the 2010 FIBA Congress proved the great source of Garrett’s education, then you can deduce by now what really ended up being his airplane ticket right to Turkey.
Not sure what I’m talking about? Well, back around the time the raffle was being launched, our local executive was also invited to send a member to the governing body’s quadrennial assembly in eastern Europe.
No one will ever blame any of the top brass for wanting to oversee a grand $480 000 project, so naturally the raffle opened up a spot for Garrett to go to Turkey and see just how far behind the rest of the world we were.
Have I given the conference too much credit? Just ask Garrett himself how much he learnt about the need for communications, increased use of technology and importance of stressing player, coaching and officiating development.
If those items sound strangely familiar it’s only because those have become the very tenets of Garrett’s leadership.
So you can talk about how much money the raffle almost cost basketball all you want.
I certainly know the raffle’s real worth.