By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
New University of the Virgin Islands Women’s Basketball coach Reggie Carrick came on Tortola on Saturday with blank scholarship offers in his bag, and, to look at female players that Derwin Scatliffe had invited him to see.
Carrick return to St. Thomas later in the day with one of those scholarship papers signed, after
Joy Victor walked into the Multipurpose Sports Complex and walked out making history as the first BVI female basketball player signing to play with UVI.
“Honestly, this was very unexpected but I’m glad for this opportunity,” said the 18-year old ball handler who stands 5 feet 7 inches and played on the BVI’s first CBC Championships team two years ago. “I have to thank all the coaches here for giving me the opportunity I have right now and I’m going off to UVI. This is a starting point for me. I really need to get exposed and this the opportunity for me.”
Carrick said he had been speaking to Derwin Scatliffe who’s currently coaching the BVI U17 team for the upcoming Centrobasket Tournament for a while and they had been trying to arrange his visit but his schedule didn’t allow it until over the weekend.
“What I noticed as an old coach with 20 years in the game, when I came into the gym, Derwin had structure,” Carrick noted. “He’s not just the guy flipping on the lights and rolling out the balls, so to speak. He was making them work on fundamentals before they play and I was impressed. I came early. I’m new, but, what I saw, left me impressed.”
The players Carrick were looking at were working along the U17 female players who are preparing for Centrobasket. He said he can see why the BVI, especially for girls basketball, is starting to get a reputation as a place to come and recruit because there are some talented ladies here.
Scatliffe said the new developments at UVI, gives most of the upper class kids in the BVI and opportunity to be exposed and possibly be recruited for next year. He said girls who never had a chance to play overseas or at any level in the USA before, they’ll now have an opportunity to play at UVI.
“They’ll get an education and hopefully be seen by anyone out there, WNBA or whatever, it makes an opportunity for everybody,” he said.
Regarding the program he’s developing at UVI, Carrick said they got started late. He said sometimes it’s not a problem if you’re coaching men’s basketball. Women he said are more pragmatic than men and they tend to have a plan. He added that this time of year, there aren’t too many girls that don’t have a plan.
“We’re just trying to find those few that don’t have a plan and if they can play, we’re trying to get them over there,” he said. “It’s going to be a building process for us. The first year will be a process and like they say in Philadelphia, trust the process. That’s all I’m going to be preaching to everybody around our program—trusting the process.”
Among players coming in is a Division I transfer point guard and there are players already in the fold from St. Croix. He said they will be competitive right away.
“Our ultimate goal is to win an NAIA Championship,” he said. “For that to happen, we’ve got some work to do.”