Mar 03, 2013 Sports
By Charwayne Walker
Statistician Charwayne Walker resumes his series on outstanding Guyanese in sports. Following his pieces on footballers, Walker look at the country’s basketballers who gave yeoman service. Today we look at Mark Agard.
Inspired by the exploits of his cousin Orin Cumberbatch on the Basketball Courts, Mark Agard’s dream of emulating Cumberbatch and representing the Golden Arrow Head was realized in 1977 August.
The Charlestown Secondary School student was selected at 15 years old in Guyana’s under-19 Team for the Inter Guiana Games series against Suriname.
The following year 1978 ‘Markie’, as he was called, was selected again when Suriname hosted the championship but just like in 1977 Guyana failed to bring the Bacon Home. ‘Markie’ was determined to stop the Dutch rout and when the games returned to the Sports Hall in 1979 ‘Markie’ along with Captain Steve Neils Sr and Berbician Shawn Semple combined and destroyed Suriname in both games.
This victory was only the second time Guyana had won the IGG Basketball series against Suriname, the first time was 1975 at Burnham Court. Now that his apprenticeship was over it was time for the big stage.
Agard first taste of Senior International Basketball was against the Northern League of Trinidad & Tobago at the National Sports Hall October 1980. The Rookie next International assignment vs Suriname seniors also at the National Sports Hall December 1980.
He and the late Schubert Cappell were the Rookies when Guyana hosted the inaugural Caricom Championship August 1981.
Trinidad and Tobago was his first stop in 1981 October with the Senior National Team for two goodwill matches as the Soca Warriors prepared for an International Assignment in China.
He warmed up for his Second Caricom Championship with two games against the Northern League of Trinidad at the National Sports Hall in October 1982.
Now without his mentor Orin Cumberbatch, ‘Markie’ arrived in Kingston Jamaica as Guyana’s premiere point guard for the second Caricom Championship.
He top scored for Guyana with 12pts in the opening loss to the Bahamas although Guyana failed to qualify for the semifinals ‘Markie’ was one of the 1982 CBC leading point guards. The following year 1983 the Pacesetters Star Guard was selected in the Guyana CBC Squad again but the championship was cancelled.
His next International Assignment was the World military basketball championship in Suriname in 1984 October.
‘Markie’ returned to the Caricom Championship Arena in August 1985 when the tournament was hosted by Barbados and the tournament was Agard’s most disappointing CBC showing.
Guyana led by centre Eon Andrews failed to registered a single win.
His next CBC tournament was in 1986 July in Trinidad and Tobago.
The following year 1987, he was the man controlling plays when Guyana humbled Barbados in a goodwill series at the National Sports Hall. His next international assignment was historical.
During 1988 August, Guyana hosted the Caricom champions at the National Sports Hall and Mark Agard was the man calling plays for Guyana again.
This was the fifth consecutive time the Pacesetters Guard was running the Guyana offence at the CBC level.
At that time 1988 no other Guyanese point guard had appeared in more CBC games than Mark Agard. His last international series on home soil was December 1989 against Barbados at the National Sports Hall.
He missed game one and two because of club commitments in Brazil, but returned for the final game. His presence had an immediate effect as he calmed the troops as Skipper Christian, Tappin and Cadogan destroyed Barbados after two embarrassing losses.
‘Markie’ sixth and last Caricom championship was July 1991 in Jamaica and on that occasion he surpassed James Brusche as the Guyanese with the most CBC tournament appearances. Mark Agard was one of the most unselfish point guards that represented Guyana at the International Level.
International Debut 1980 – Guyana vs Northern League at Trinidad National Sports Hall.
1978 – Suriname I.G.G. Series
1981- Trinidad & Tobago
1982 – Jamaica
1984 – Suriname
1985 – Barbados
1986 – Trinidad and Tobago
1989 – Brazil with Pacesetters
1991 – Jamaica
2008 – Antigua & Barbuda
As National Female Coach Guyana IGG 2009-2010
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