May 18, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News –
By Franklin Wilson
Whenever the history of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) is written, updated or re-written, the name Dennis Clarke will always feature prominently as a work-a-holic and willing servant.
Set to celebrate his 72nd birthday in August this year, Clarke believes that he has had enough of the sport from a coaching perspective and tendered his resignation to President of the GABF, Michael Singh.
Having the distinction of serving under former Presidents, John Yates as a Time Keeper in 1981 (Caricom Championships), Col. Morgon, the late Col. Godwin McPherson (Senior & Junior Caricom Championships held in Guyana), David Patterson, Nigel Hinds and Singh, Clarke says it is time to call it quits.
He had a brief career as a player having started bouncing ball at age 12 and ended same at the age of 18 years after which he migrated.
“I am pleased that I have accomplished the great prize as a player/captain at the first and second division levels spending 35 years with the same team under three different sponsors, Malta Pacesetters, Courts Pacesetters (12 years) and Trinity Grid Pacesetters (5 years).”
While at this club, Clarke was the Coach and also functioned as Chairman of a once powerful and champion club. He attended many official coaching clinics in the USA over the years and when he returned to these shores, held training for other local coaches (Bartica, Berbice, Linden, Georgetown) to pass on the knowledge, gained.
In 1996 when Guyana’s Females won the Caricom Championships, Clarke was the Chief Statistician, an achievement he said he would always be proud of.
“I can also remember being the Coach of the Bank of Guyana team which won gold in the Caricom National Bank Basketball tournament in 2010; Being with the Guyana team in 2016 in St. Lucia when we played well but lost the final of the first 3×3 tournament by a single point in 2016.”
Clarke also remembers his duties in Barbados in 2018 when Guyana defeated the hosts 2/1 in a best of three series, but of course his crowning moment would have been as Assistant Coach to Junior Hercules when Guyana for the first time in 37 years lifted the coveted Caribbean Basketball Championship trophy in Suriname, playing unbeaten in July 2018 when Nigel Hinds was President.
Clarke recently returned from Colombia again as Assistant Coach /Statistician to Hercules when Guyana competed in Group B of the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers. There, Guyana defeated Bolivia but lost to Paraguay and the host nation.
Along with Hercules, Clarke has an enviable record of 19 wins and 4 losses inclusive of a clean sweep against Grenada in 2019 but was swept in all four matches of the Olympic Qualifiers in El Salvador.
“I am not going away from the sport I love. I know I could do a lot for my sport in any part of the country the GABF believes I can be of service. I do believe that the sport needs an urgent infusion of more officials, the likes of scorers, timekeepers, 24-second clock operators, statisticians and most of all, referees.”
Clarke wishes the GABF and all its members, the very best.
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