FRIDAY, JUNE 15: There is no question in Bermuda basketball coach Roderick Spencer’s mind that Sullivan Phillips would have earned a spot on the Great Britain Olympic team.
And Spencer believes that Phillips would have been a significant player on the squad during their Olympic run.
This comes after Sullivan Phillips was dropped from the Great Britain Olympic squad after he was ruled ineligible by playing for Bermuda in the Caribbean Basketball Championships last summer.
Spencer said he would not advise Bermuda’s talented young basketballers to avoid playing for the island on the off chance that Great Britain might ask them to play.
Jenaya Wade-Fray could still play for GBR in the Olympics as she has not played in any FIBA sanctioned tournaments for Bermuda.
But once she plays for GBR, she will no longer be eligible to represent Bermuda in future FIBA tournaments.
Spencer said: “I was looking forward to him playing for Great Britain. I was absolutely sure he would have made the team had he been allowed to participate and I don’t think he would have just been on the squad. He would have contributed and been a major part of their team at that level.
“He’s a proven winner; he brings leadership on top of the skill sets he brings to the table.
“If they would have went with a small team, he would have then been a forward. If they were going to try and play big, he would have been a guard or wing player.”
The head basketball coach added if he had known Great Britain were looking at him last summer, he would have advised Phillips not to play for Bermuda in the CBC tournament.
“Him participating in the Olympics would be a bigger personal achievement for him and would be bigger for Bermuda basketball than his representation at the CBC,” Spencer said.
He added if another talented youngster came through the ranks that had the potential to represent Great Britain, he would not necessarily advise them to sit on the sidelines.
But he would also hope Britain would contact Bermuda to find out if there are any players they are looking at or should they be looking at.
Spencer said these opportunities needed to be presented to young players early and not 10 years down the road when they are in their late 20s or 30s.