Are TC Athletes the future of HK Basketball? And the dominance of SCAA Basketball
If you live in Hong Kong and haven’t heard of the SCAA Basketball team – perhaps now it’s time to pay attention. The SCAA team just completed a record, unprecedented, unbeaten season – that includes their road to and winning the playoffs.
Led by their captain, Duncan Reid, who won the playoffs MVP and is also the captain of HK. SCAA defeated their rivals WinLing in a 3 game sweep that after a close first game – ended up being a dominant performance in game 2 and a route by the end of game 3. What is the secret to the success of this team? And what does this mean for HK basketball?
Getting Experience Overseas
Nathan Yu, Dominic Gilbert and Tommy Nixon are just a few of the players that SCAA have recruited who have extensive experience paying away from HK.
Now there is a rule – that each HK team is only allowed one foreign player per team. This is a good rule to protect HK basketball from being flooded by overseas talent and thus give no chance to develop local players. So how does SCAA do it?
Nathan Yu, although he was not born in Hong Kong, is Chinese/ Canadian. Because he has been living in HK for 7 years now, starting next season he will play as a local, and Tommy Nixon, who is in a similar situation, will take the place of Nathan, as the teams foreign player.
What about Dom Gilbert, the rookie superstar that exploded onto the scene this year with incredible energy and athleticism, making him a contender for playoff MVP? From Australia, Dom actually qualities as a HK local because he was born in Hong Kong before his family relocated back to Australia. When SCAA found this out, the approached Dom, who was more than keen to have a professional career here in Hong Kong.
Dom Gilbert taking on 3 players to drive to the hoop
What does this mean for other teams?
Basketball is one of Hong Kong’s most popular sports, and many young athletes play the sport recreationally or competitively overseas, especially at the high school and college level. Many I’m sure would love to have the shot at a pro-career here in Hong Kong, but may not know that they are eligible or that the scene here is growing and thus worth pursing.
On the other hand, the teams here should also be on the look out for HK born players that have trained or played overseas.
As SCAA have demonstrated, bringing in players with the talent and experience gained from overseas development can only strengthen the side. In fact, other teams already do this, but none have yet been as successful as this 2017 SCAA championship side.
For other teams to remain competitive – they too might have to cast a broader net when searching for talent?
What does this mean for local basketball?
Recruiting from abroad, especially players who were born or have some sort of connection to Hong Kong can only be a good thing.
Many SCAA players already give back to the community by coaching youth basketball.
An increase of skill level on the court would only lead to an increase of attendance at games, attention, sponsorship, endorsements, support – all the things that HK basketball needs if it is to continue to grow and develop and even be competitive on an international level.
Duncan Reid: ‘Hong Kong can compete with these teams’
Duncan Reid, when captaining Hong Kong at the FIBA Asia Cup recently, argued that Hong Kong can compete internationally: Read full interview here
Duncan just recently also got signed to the China Basketball League, which is on a whole next level than HK basketball. What Hong Kong needs is more Duncan Reids, more TC athletes, to gain experience, reputation and support, and bring it back to Hong Kong.
Duncan Reid signing on to join the CBA
What we need to do as a community, is to show them support and give them the recognition they deserve.
Photos courtesy of SCAA Basetball