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Updated: January 3, 2013 01:50 IST

Flemming spells out his priorities

Special Correspondent
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Scott Flemming. Photo: Special Arrangement
Scott Flemming. Photo: Special Arrangement

The head coach of the Indian men’s basketball team, Scott Flemming, has expressed appreciation for the talent in the country and said he was looking forward to working with the Indian coaches.

Flemming made sure he conveyed to the Indian coaches, in two days of clinics during the ongoing National championship in which he discussed and demonstrated ‘on-court tricks and techniques’, that he was not trying to take over from them and was in fact trying to learn from them.

Thanks to Kenny

He was equally appreciative of the work done by the previous NBA coach in India, Kenny Natt. “I met Kenny in Florida and he shared his Indian experience with me. He has made it easier for me, as I don’t have to start from scratch,” said Flemming during an interaction with The Hindu, here on Wednesday.

“I see a lot of talent in the under-14 and 16 levels. I am happy to train them, and give them good fundamentals. I have respect for the Indian coaches. I am also trying to introduce ideas based on 30 years of coaching experience in the US,” he said.

On a two-year contract, Flemming said it was important to give some credit to teams that stayed ahead of India, but said his job was to “narrow the gap”. “My first goal is to make them better every day, and help them reach their full potential,” he said.

Flemming was particularly pleased to find the quality of players in the 16-23 years age group, and said his job was to ensure that they made the effort towards progress with firm belief in their ability.

“I am a pretty easy coach, if the players follow three things I expect of them. Play hard, play together and put team above self, on and off the court,” said Flemming, adding it would be tough for the players if they did not follow the simple principle.

“Want to show your individual game, better play golf or tennis. In basketball, you have to share the ball,” asserted Flemming.

The former assistant coach of the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League, Flemming said the only challenge in his experience so far in India was the inability of the players to follow the training methods when they returned home from Delhi which had the best equipments in the country. He is accompanied by his wife and daughter and expects his sons to join him shortly, even as his daughter returns to college in the US.

“We had to make some adjustments, but we love the people here. I have a good place to stay in Delhi, apart from a good cook and driver,” said Flemming.

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