— “If we stay focused and work hard, we can win”, says James
By Timothy Jaikarran
Delroy James is by no means an ordinary basketball player. his wealth of experience gained from his professional basketball career would be a definite boost to the national side. Hence he was selected to serve as the Co-Captain of the squad that would participate in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Pre-Qualifiers in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Being one of Guyana’s most successful pro basketball players, James offers the team an exciting mix of experience and knowledge. He has played all over the world, and to make things even more enticing, the 6-foot, 8-inch power forward won both the FIBA Basketball Champions League (BCL) and FIBA Inter-Continental Cup with the Greek Athlitikí Énosis Konstantinoupóleos (Athletic Union of Constantinople) – AEK Basketball Club (BC) based in Athens, Greece.
What more can be said about the team’s chances of success? But, much appreciation to the selectors for selecting the right man for the job.
In an exclusive interview with this publication, James was asked a series of questions along the lines of the readiness of the squad and how confident they are going forward.
How does it feel to be elected as co-captain, and what do you think of the squad?
It feels good to be elected as co-captain. Seeing that they look to me for leadership, along with Stanton Rose Jr, to rally the guys and rally the troops, it should be good. I appreciate the honour of representing my country and being the co-captain.
In terms of the squad selected, I think it is a very difficult pool we are selected in. We have to go locked in, go focused, do what the coach is telling us to do, go work hard, and fight. They are very good teams, the Spanish teams like you run Jamaica is going to be tough, just the whole side is going to be tough, but if we come there focused, we can win.
What chance does the side have in competing against the other nations?
I think our chances are good competing against other nations. It’s just basketball – one ball and two hoops. We just got to go there and fight and play hard. We practised hard, so we just have to translate that into the game, and we’ll be all right.
With the addition of experienced players in the squad, what do you guys bring to the table?
I think my brother, myself and Anthony Moe just bring a lot of experience of playing around the world. Seeing different types of basketball, showing the guys a different level of things, they can do on the court and just bring out the best in each other.
We all can look out for each other to listen and uplift our team, and that is what we will need when we go up against tough competition.
What do you expect from the team as they prepare to compete, and what do you want to say to the Guyanese supporters?
As we prepare and compete, I just want everyone to stay focused, stay locked in, work hard, practise hard, take care of their body. They should follow the COVID protocols, stay healthy, and be ready for war when we get down there.
To the Guyana supporters: Thank you, and always keep supporting us and believe in us as we try our best to represent the country.
In terms of preparation where are you guys now, and what more has to be done?
In terms of preparation, we are building and coming together. As a team, you can never be too perfect. We can only get better day by day if we practise enough and work hard, I think that will help us in everything that we do.
Those on board in supporting the national squad are JHI Associates; Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sport; E-Networks; Nigel Hinds; Hand-in-Hand; Atlantic Mining Supplies; American Airlines; Rima Guest House, and Sleepin International.
Guyana Game Schedule:
• Game 1: Thursday, April 15 – 21:00 GYT – Guyana vs Nicaragua
• Game 2: Friday, April 16 – 18:00 GYT – Jamaica vs Guyana
• Game 3: Saturday, April 17 – 21:00 GYT – Guyana vs El Salvador
• Game 4: Sunday, April 18 – 18:00 GYT – Costa Rica vs Guyana
All Guyana games will be broadcasted via the E-Networks E1 Channel.