Former National Basket-ball Association (NBA) player, Guyanese Rawle Marshall said yesterday that he plans to donate as much as he can to the development of the local basketball fraternity during his brief stay while aiming to continue the hard work on his own game which he will use to possibly catapult himself back into the NBA fold.
During an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sports last evening at the Wind Jammer Hotel, the former Dallas Mavericks (2005 one year season) and Indian Pacers (2006-07 season) player said he was excited to be back home and to be able to interact with local players from the basketball fraternity whom he hopes to form a symbiotic relationship with ahead of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation 2014 Championships scheduled for Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI from July 1-5.
“I’ve been blessed enough to be born and have roots here (In Guyana). I left Guyana when I was four-years-old and I’m blessed to be back here, it’s something I wanted to do but because of basketball I haven’t gotten much opportunity due to always having to try out for or prepare for a team,” said Marshall while relaxing last evening after working out earlier in the day.
Marshall said that he was pleased that the guys around him have “one agenda” with respect to what he brings to the table as a professional basketball player.
The six foot seven inches small forward, who just finished his ninth year in the sport professionally (having spent two years in the NBA and the other seven in Europe) said he is a free agent but he is optimistic about being drafted to a team in the next few months.
Elaborating on the upcoming Caribbean Basketball competition, the forward said he was amped up about the tournament and will use it as a way to gel with the guys and learn from them with hopes of rubbing off some of his expertise and knowledge in the process, adding that he felt grateful to be able to travel to the BVI.
From an international and professional perspective, when asked about what team he would like to represent, Marshall confidently said: “It’s not about who you want to play for, it’s whichever team gives you the opportunity.”
He, however posited that he would prefer to play in the NBA adding that the road to there is very difficult while the process itself needs to be respected.
An established player in Europe for the last seven years, Marshall now plies his trade with CSU Asesoft Ploiesti and explained that due to his long stint most teams know what he’s capable of when bringing his game to the court and as such he will be keeping his fingers crossed for a call during the months to come.
Marshall who has the distinction of being the first Guyanese to play in the NBA, said that with regards to playing for the big leagues again:” I will honestly tell you, it doesn’t matter which team you play for, just to get the recognition means a lot.”
Marshall said he was looking to encourage youngsters from Guyana who are involved in the sport to remain focused and believe in themselves because the dream to make it big can become reality.
“In anything you want to do you have to work hard at it and anything you love you’re going to sacrifice for it. I see a vision, I hope the other guys see the vision too.
“At first I thought I couldn’t make it to the NBA but that fear drove me to work hard, and shoot until I got tired, do two practice sessions a day in order to get better.
“You might think you can play, but someone else might think you cannot, so it’s all about going the extra mile and proving yourself,” which he credits his roots in Guyana for as it was a huge stepping stone for the basis of working hard during his career.