Q&A WITH CARL ENGLISH - POST-PRACTICE SCRUM

Carl English, one of the most experienced players in Canada Basketball's talent pool, spoke with media after the July 21 morning practice. 

Q: How can you help as a veteran?

A: First, age is just a number. The guys are doing great. They’re coming together. We’ve got a great group of guys, coaching staff is amazing. We’re just preparing, and from the outside looking in, the future is pretty bright. 

This is a building year. Last year we came up short, we had some injuries that really cost us. This year, we’re taking it the right way, we’re approaching it. We got 11 games in 15 days, and simulate as a tournament.

Great competition. It’s not just some pushover teams. It’s top-level competition. The ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Q: What will it be like on the day when Canada Basketball has to reject an NBA player?

It’s different for me because I’m over on the other side, and everyone had some questions. What I say is that our goal for 2016 is to become a top-10 team. I’m not afraid to say that the next one could be beyond my time, but I’ll be very disappointed if these guys aren’t a medal team. They’re a fantastic team, and every year there’s more guys coming. If you just take the class now, the last five years, and give them five years to grow together, it’s going to be fabulous.

We’re getting a lot of support from Canada. The way Jay does things is incredible.  

Q: How important is international experience?

It’s a totally different game. When guys like [Kobe Bryant and LeBron James] are adjusting their games. It’s a totally different game. It’s a lot closer, it’s team oriented, the spacing is different and the whole concept of the game is different. For me, I have won championships over there, played at the highest levels in Spain.

Q: How do you see yourself as a leader on this team?

I’m very vocal. I think a big part of being a leader is keeping everybody together, keeping everybody positive - every practice, not letting things get you down. You can be a leader on those things alone and having a positive attitude. And sometimes, it’s not always good to hear your coach speaking. If your peers hear it from you, and from each other, they tend to be more accountable.