Just a few weeks ago Barbados TODAY highlighted Barbadian-born United States basketball coach, Cory McCarthy.
Included in his plethora of awards were seven-time coach of the year; winner of four state championships; and 2010 national coach of the year. He holds the coaching record of 207-47 and has sent more than 90 black players/students to colleges in the past ten years.
However, beyond all the accolades that McCarthy has garnered, what he was most passionate about was the desire to give back to his island of birth. Recently, the Black Rock St Michael-born coach got that opportunity when he was invited by the National Sports Council to conduct clinics with players in several basketball camps.
McCarthy and his family arrived in Barbados last Tuesday, July 15, and on Wednesday he met with officials from the NSC and on Thursday the clinics commenced. Speaking to Barbados TODAY last Friday evening as he took a break from one of those camps being conducted at the YWCA in Pinfold Street, the City, McCarthy voiced his excitement about finally getting the chance to lend his expertise to future ballers in the island.
The YWCA camp comprised some 20 players from the Combined Schools Tridents. From what he has seen thus far, the 38-year-old said he was quite impressed with the level of talent among both the female and male players and already he was looking forward to returning to the island next year to further work with them.
“I think they are open to learning, they already know I expect them to work to the best of their ability and sometimes that is the hardest part to get out of kids [but] I know they intend to work hard. They’ve been positive, they have been helping each other. It is a testament to what the coaches have been teaching them,” McCarthy said.
“I am very happy and grateful to do what I love with my people. I just want to drill them, let them know where I am coming from, how much better I feel they need to be in order to compete on the next level. I feel like after football, this is the number one sport in the world. I feel like kids here, I’ve seen girls today with tremendous height and talent that could play on the next level, the college level in the States. So I feel like if I continue to help these guys develop and kick their butts a little bit more they can achieve that. I want them to be basketball ready whenever or wherever they go to play. I want to tell people back home in the States ‘my people can compete too’,” he said, adding that his goal was to have children go up to the states to play basketball whether it was at the high school or college level in the three or five years.
After spending most of the afternoon at another clinic held at the Police Boys and Girls Club in Bay Street, McCarthy who, ironically, is on vacation, further revealed that he intended to spend every remaining day of his stay here, except Sundays, conducting camps. McCarthy is scheduled to return to the US on July 25.
The NSC’s basketball coach Zahir Motara who too was present for one of the camps hoped that coach McCarthy’s presence would spur the players to want to pursue careers in basketball. Furthermore, he said, he hoped this new relationship between McCarthy and the NSC could be the conduit by which talented Barbadian players got the chance to showcase their talents.
“We have a few [players] here that have potential but there are young so obviously potential is the key but some of them can handle themselves. It is just a matter of getting the exposure, getting out there and showing what they are worth. Coming from Barbados, a small island, it is kind of difficult but they have to work extra hard if they really want it. We have quite a few players overseas on scholarships but it is just a matter of they working extra hard to try to get that exposure and hopefully we can build a link with coach so it would make it easier for us to transition and for him to get the word out to other coaches overseas that there is talent in Barbados. Our main objective [is] to try to get the kids out of here on scholarships and if he can help us with that we would be grateful,” Motara added.