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Scheme tips off despite uncertainty
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
National basketball coach Kevin Reece speaking to the participants of the first national basketball scheme last Friday. BT/ Yee Chun Leong

The future may be uncertain for Kevin Reece but practice continues.

The national basketball scheme tipped off with 16 cagers last Friday at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

Reece's contract expired on January 6 and he is still awaiting news on whether it will be renewed.

The American explained that it might take a month to three for it to be decided but didn't want to waste any time.

"It is not a big issue and people shouldn't worry about me whether I am under contract or not. I'm doing it for the kids and most of the 16 who attended are mostly new," said Reece in an interview with The Brunei Times on Friday.

"They want the opportunity to come out and be coached. That is the utmost compliment they can give me," he added.

"I've only missed three practices during my four years here and I would like to keep that level of professionalism," continued Reece.

Reece landed in the Sultanate late 2009 and have multiple competition wins under his tenure.

Most notable was when Brunei captured the 13th Borneo City Men's Basketball Invitational Tournament 2011.

It was the first time the country finished at the top of the podium.

They also notched two wins in the Sultan's Cup, the largest local annual tournament which was previously ruled by Filipinos.

The Los Angeles native expressed his concern that some players might leave the sport should he no longer continue as the national coach.

He is also hoping that the grassroots programme will continue into other districts in the near future.

"My biggest worry is that players might not want to continue should I leave. That is the response but I've told them that they have to continue playing. I'm not going to use players as leverage to continue my stay here," said Reece.

"We have laid out the bricks for the foundation during my four years here and I don't want that to happen," he added.

"JBS has been very supportive of me. I'm relieved to have brought basketball up in the country. Some say that it might plummet should I leave but that is not for me to say," continued Reece.

"I hope that the grassroots programme will be able to progress to all four districts. Currently we have it in Brunei-Muara and also through (national cager) Ben Sim's programme in the Belait District. We have been working hard for development of the sport in the country," he concluded.

Next session will be this Friday at the same venue from 7.30-9.30pm.

Practice will resume its three times a week schedule - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - the following week.

Courtesy from Brunei Times