Saturday, 24 March 2018

ON HIS MIND: NBL coach Pete Matthews talks travel, playing the game and his thing for Hondas

YES, COACH: "I've just always been in basketball," Matthews says of his passion for the sport.

BASKETBALL is Pete Matthews’ life. He’s not only coached at the national level; he’s served on the board of the Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association (JaBA) since the 1990s, currently in the capacity of committee member. But, by his own admission, the 55-year-old veteran coach also loves cool cars and occasional travel. As his team, the UWI Runnin’ Rebels, competes for top honours in the newly revived National Basketball League, he takes a moment to reflect. 

He was a whiz at making 3-pointer shots: “That was in the 80s, when the three-pointer was just introduced. I used to play for a club called Utopia Trailblazers, made up of KC old boys, and that is what I was known for on the team. I wasn’t a great player, but I was a strong shooter.” 

He’s used to the adrenaline rush of coaching in big finals: “I was the national coach from 1983, and I’ve coached at all levels since then. I remember one particular Caribbean U-19 final that really went down to the wire. Very close. All our big games in those days were closely contested.” 

On treating himself to a vacation: “(Laughs). I haven’t had many of those. I mean, I enjoy travelling, but for the most part I’ve just always been in basketball.” 

His favourite Bob Marley song: “‘Who the Cap Fits’ stands out.” 

The first cool car he ever owned: “I used to drive a Ford Cortina in the 80s. I had to save up to buy it. Since then I’ve always stayed with Hondas. I have two Hondas now and a Toyota Prado.”

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