New BBNZ CEO confident he has skills to cope

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 02/08/2012
Iain Potter
KENT BLYCHENDEN/Fairfax NZ
IAIN POTTER: ‘‘We've got some ideas but we're building off a base of zero and we don't have anything to put into the high performance space."

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Iain Potter's hoops career was limited to one year for Tuakau College and he freely admits he doesn't have any basketball credentials.

But while the newly appointed Basketball New Zealand chief executive might not be the best man to discuss the intricacies of pick and roll play with, he remains confident he is the right man for the job.

Potter has spent the last 20 years as chief executive of the Health Sponsorship Council while his sporting background is largely in rugby.

He both played for and coached Marist St Pats' senior sides, was Wellington B forwards coach for two years and is a current member of the Wellington Rugby Union board.

"At school we played in the third division men's competition out in Counties and I enjoyed it but to be fair I brought more front-row attributes to basketball than skills," said Potter, who replaces interim boss Murray Strong on September 17.

"I was better at stopping people from scoring than scoring myself.

"I would like to think I bring some things to the role, but I don't bring basketball intelligence and I acknowledge that.

"I think I have credentials in other areas but I don't have basketball credentials so to come in and develop that vision for basketball would have been really difficult.

"But basketball's developed it for itself so my job really is just to try and take that vision [All of Basketball Pathway Plan] and run with it."

Potter was encouraged to apply for the job by former squash champion Susan Devoy, an HSC board member.

"I had already seen the job but she suggested it. Basketball as a sport is appealing. I like that men and women play it, I like that young and old play it - you can play it for years.

"I like that it can be played for fun, it can be played at the Olympics, at the elite level, and I like that it's got a sense of a community aspect to it as well as high performance."

Potter will inherit seven fulltime staff with a national community basketball manager and a national development manager likely to be added before Christmas.

Potter will continue to sit on the WRU board.

"I don't see it as a conflict, in fact I see it as being potentially complementary in terms of knowledge."

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- The Dominion Post

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