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Six Questions with Roy Rana

Published by on March 24, 2011

Canada’s reputation in the world basketball community is growing by leaps and bounds. The young players are being recognized with accolades like high-major, NCAA scholarships and high profile all-star game selections. And now, the Canadian coaching ranks are being lauded as well.

Fresh off a bronze medal coaching effort with the Canadian U17 Cadets, Head Coach Roy Rana has been selected to coach the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit on April 9, 2011 (read Canadian Content For 2011 Nike Hoop Summit). I had the chance to him and get his take on this great accomplishment:

Drew: How do you get chosen to be coach of the Nike Hoop Summit International team Coach Rana?
: As a long time Nike Global Challenge guy and doing some things with our national teams my name was put in a hat with about 4 others and after I guess, a lot of meetings at Nike Head quarters they decided that they wanted to give me an opportunity and I’m really excited.

Drew: What does it show that a Canadian has been named coach of this team?
: I think this is a big deal for coaches in our country and I think it’s going to inspire them to keep working hard and opportunities are out there for Canada; for coaches, officials and athletes and as long as we continue to produce great talent the basketball world will be open to us Canadians.

Drew: What is the rise of Canadian basketball in the last 5-6 years attributable to?
: It has a lot to do with the depth of our talent and with our development system. I think we’ve got a lot of coaches doing a great job at the younger levels and we have a number of coaches doing a great job of exposing these kids to high level basketball. The combination
of both has resulted in this surge.

Drew: You were the Cadet coach last year in Germany, are you coaching the team again?
: Yes, we are currently scheduled to be in Guadalajara, Mexico in late June this year and we’ve got a talented crop of young kids again, including Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Zabo and Tanveer Bhullar right off the top so we’ve got a ton of talent at the grassroots level and I think we have a great shot at qualifying again so that’s the goal.

Drew: What are people in the global basketball circles saying about Canada; are they in awe or did they see this coming themselves?
: I don’t think anybody saw this coming. I think a lot of people had questions but when you see the success that guys like Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Junior Cadougan have had in this year’s [NCAA] tournament, I think it kind of affirms that our talent is legit and it’s come out of nowhere for many of the people outside of the Canadian basketball community. Within Canada we know the potential of these athletes and they’re getting it done.

Drew: The NPSAA [National Prep School Athletic Association] just finished and we saw a lot of talent out for that. There’s a difference and I see a unity there that hasn’t been there in the past [among other basketball teams and leagues; Do you know where this is coming from?
: I think a lot of people have put aside their personal agendas and decided that now’s the time to help promote this great generation of kids and I think we’re seeing the adults become great leaders and the kids are following them as well.

Drew: Thanks a lot coach for this and congratulations for being named Head Coach for the Hoop Summit.
R.R.: Thanks a lot Drew

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