ED Scott is the current chief operations officer at the Euroleague, the biggest basketball competition outside of the NBA. But his journey involved a stop at Worthing Thunder.
Born in Crawley, Scott was brought up and raised by a Catalan mother and Scottish father. Every summer they would travel to Spain to visit family. The love of basketball, he recalls, began from there.
Scott said: “Going to Spain in the eighties and nineties, basketball was one of the popular sports, so I was heavily exposed to it.
“My cousin who was ten years older than me was a bigger basketball fan, but a fan, so we shared something there. So for me going on my annual holidays to Spain, that’s where the passion of basketball originated.”
At just 12, Scott returned from his annual jaunt to Spain and back to Crawley to search for local basketball clubs around the area.
He then played in the Sussex League for Crawley but before he turned 18, gave up playing stating that he “wasn’t good enough”.
Scott decided to pursue a coaching career instead and, after gaining the required qualifications, he spoke to then Thunder head coach Gary Smith to see if he could help the team out in any way?
Smith, along with his assistant Phil Waghorn, happily accepted Scott into Worthing’s coaching roster in the 2003-04 EBL Division 1 season.
Scott said: “As we all know in the England basketball community, it’s a case of everyone knows everyone. So I went to some courses, and gained some experience.
“In the summer, I called Gary Smith at Worthing and asked if I could help out the team in any way. He and Phil Waghorn welcomed me to the squad and it opened my eyes to see how they coached.
“Both Gary and Phil coached in different ways, Gary was a player-orientated coach, while Phil was more on the tactical side of coaching, it was only for one season but it was a fantastic and interesting experience.”
After brief spells at England Basketball and Michigan State University in America, Scott landed a role with Euroleague Basketball in 2006.
The 32-year-old lives and works in Barcelona, where he speaks fluent Spanish due to his Catalan roots and even though his job is highly demanding, he enjoys what he does.
Scott also checks up to see how Thunder is doing from time to time. And is pleased that the club are still going strong.
He said: “The former owners, Alan and Rosemary Dawes, were extremely hard-working people that cared dearly for Worthing Thunder Basketball Club.
“Today, it seems that the club is still as popular as it was when the “Back Row” were cheering the team everywhere we went, and I love that basketball in Worthing is still widely respected, it seems.”
Scott added: “I am enjoying my role at Euroleague Basketball, though. I’ve been here close to eight years, and it’s great to work with a fantastic and enthusiastic bunch of people.”