Lloyd stepping down as coach
This time Nigel Lloyd is going out on his own terms.
Barbados’ signal caller seems set to step down from his second stint as national coach after saying the senior basketball squad may need a new voice following the FIBA AmeriCup Caribbean Pre-Qualifier in Suriname.
Lloyd made the announcement in a telephone interview after serving as head coach for the last four years.
“This isn’t a surprise because I’ve told everyone else that this is it for me and I’ve said that for a while now. I’ve got a lot of other things to do but I’ll always be available to Barbados basketball because that remains at the top of my agenda and in the centre of my heart,” said the 58-year-old London-based coach.
“I’ve really enjoyed this last stint and I love coaching and I love my country, so there’s nothing specific that’s exactly led to this but this might be the best decision going forward because the team may need another voice at this time.
“Just understand I will always be here advising and I plan to come back in the summer to run coaching sessions for our coaches and younger players or help out in any other way I can because I can see there being a need to work on the techniques and skills of our young, aspiring players,” he added.
It comes as a seemingly abrupt end to a standout national career for the New York-raised Lloyd, who returned to Barbados in 1992 as a member of the national team.
A highly-skilled professional player who tried out with the Los Angeles Clippers, Lloyd led Barbados to a pair of regional titles as the starting point guard before transitioning to the bench around 2004.
And he was arguably more successful as head coach while helping the country to qualify for its first and only appearance at the Commonwealth Games of 2006.
Yet Lloyd was unceremoniously sacked in favour of his assistant Dwight Rouse for the subsequent regional tournament that year.
He returned in 2014 under similarly surprising circumstances, but Lloyd didn’t enjoy the same successes after watching his team finish sixth and seventh at the last two Caribbean competitions.
“Besides the results, I’ve loved this time as coach too, because we have a lot of players who are so enthused about playing for Barbados and who are now thinking philosophy of the team, so I can see them becoming great coaches in the future,” said Lloyd.
“Back when I played, we were just more talented than they were and we spent more time working on our game but these guys really understand the game and that’s important because of this era where it comes down to execution of plays and running so many systems.” (JM)