Jun 17, 2014 Sports
– “… here to do some damage” – Rawle Marshall
By Edison Jefford
Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player with the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana
Pacers, Guyanese-American, Rawle Marshall arrived in Guyana yesterday to fortify the national team preparing for the upcoming Caribbean Championships.
Marshall, who plays in the small forward position, displayed his professional and excellent work ethic when he immediately bounced into practice at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, following his arrival. The Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships is set for Tortola, July 1-12, with the local team continuing to build support and momentum.
“It feels so good to be here; I was shown plenty of love and given a warm welcome. This is a big opportunity to come back (to Guyana) since playing ‘ball’ professionally,” Marshall, who migrated when he was four years old, told Kaieteur Sport.
The six foot, seven inches forward played most of his collegiate career at Oakland University. He played for Mavericks during the ’05-’06 NBA Season before he was traded to Pacers for the ’06-’07 season; Marshall also spent time playing in the NBA Development League prior to earning his contract in Europe.
The 32 year old player said he feels he has about five or more years left in the game and will be imparting his professional experiences in the national team. “I have an obligation to coach, teach, train and mentor these guys,” the pro-athlete indicated.
“I’ll try to give them the knowledge of the game that is required at the next level,” Marshall said about his role on the national roster. “I have come here to do some damage. I’m a winner and it’s what I am here to do,” he continued during our interview yesterday.
Asked about the depth of the Guyanese team and their chances, Marshall admitted that there is a lot of “talent” among those trying-out to make the final cut, but there is some work to be done to get them to the next level. “I know they will be looking at me to lead, but it is going to have to be a team effort and that is where the real challenge will be,” he said.
Apart from Marshall, Trinidad and Tobago-based veteran national forward, Andrew ‘Mr. Dunk’ Ifill was also visibly working out. Ifill believes that the efforts to bring together all of Guyana’s best players locally and internationally are finally a step in the right direction and one that could ultimately give Guyana the prestigious CBC title.
“This is very good and could only get better,” he said, adding “I think they (national federation) know what they have to do to win. Ifill was left off of the last roster owed to commitments in the neighbouring Venezuelan League where he played semi-professionally.
He said, like Marshall, that lots of talent abounds, but the problem for the team will be chemistry since it is the first time lots of the players are meeting each other. However, Ifill believes that the personal work ethic of players will overcome that challenge.
The team roster is internationally deep with players from the United States and Canada trying out along with those who are more certain of their place in the team. Kaieteur Sport understands that the federation has also sought the services of Los Angeles Clippers guard Darren Collison whose parents are Guyanese.
The aim is to send the best team possible to the British Virgin Islands in the hope of winning the title. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation has scheduled a Press Conference for Thursday at 10am at Cara Lodge to officially introduce the team.
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