Kadiri RichardKadiri Richard came to the south-coast of England in mid-September, surrounded by hype and excitement. Thanks, mainly to a YouTube video of him in action for the Halifax Rainmen in the American Basketball Association.

Was Kadiri’s footage one of the main reasons behind Worthing coach, Dave Titmuss signing the 6’8, Columbia, South Carolina native?

“It is” simply answered Kadiri – in a down-to-earth manner. He continued, “Coach Titmuss and Alan [Sweetman-Hicks, Assistant coach] were very impressed with the six minutes of footage, so we went from there”.

An interesting way of signing an import player – but it has proved to be a well-calculated move by Dave Titmuss and Alan Sweetman-Hicks, as Richard is enjoying his time in Worthing and enjoying life in the British Basketball League, averaging 8.8 rebounds [6th] and leading the BBL in blocks with 1.9 a game [from 01/11/09] – despite a list of injuries to the team.

“My loyalty is to the Worthing Thunder right now, and I’m enjoying every second being here”. But while he was happy in England with Worthing – Kadiri also pointed out that in his third year as a professional basketball player, the future is about stepping stones and advancement in his career. Commenting “It’s about advancement; there’s nothing like playing for a top team in Israel or Spain or even in the Euroleague. Those would be ideal” – said with an aura of confidence, but far from conceited.

Richard’s signing brought excitement from Worthing fans also, as he would have been partnering returning forward, Janis Ivanovskis. The Latvian was a big hit in the BBL last season, finishing sixth in scoring and third in rebounds with the Thunder, something Kadiri was told about, upon arrival. That was until Janis was sidelined with a prolapsed disc; that would rule him out until the New Year.

“Injuries are definitely setbacks” Kadiri stressed, adding. “We are missing Janis’ twenty from him and in rebounding, so we are missing around sixty points, right now” [adding Sharrad Prezzie-Blue and Reggie Bratton – also injured into his points tally]. Richard strongly stated that when they all come back from their respective injuries, expect to see some wins by Thunder’s name.

Kadiri came to Worthing following a spell at Premier Basketball League side, Wilmington Sea-Dawgs, where he averaged seven rebounds and two blocks, before coming to England. Before joining, the Halifax Rainmen website had been petitioning for Kadiri to return to Nova Scotia for another season – such was the popularity that Richard possessed.

The man though, seems happy in his post in Worthing, located ten miles west of Brighton and eighteen miles east of Chichester, on the south-east coast of England. “It’s a very nice environment, a bit like home in South Carolina. It is very nice here” he described.

Worthing Thunder right now are now enjoying a week off, where they will welcome guard, Sharrad Prezzie-Blue and free-scoring Reggie Bratton back from injury on Friday the 13th November, when they travel to Milton Keynes to take on the high-flying Lions at the Bletchley Leisure Centre. For Sharrad, he will be returning to the venue where he played in his last game for Thunder, before his wrist injury.

“As far as being out I think its one of those gift and curse scenarios. Being out I think a lot of the role players on the team have been tested and needed in order to stay competitive through this stretch and it is bringing out the good in our players. While doing that I also think we are coming together as a unit. Another positive of me being out is having the ability to see and analyze the games and see where I can be more effective in games and make improvements. But obviously it is frustrating to sit on the side knowing you can help the team in certain aspects of the game” said Prezzie-Blue.

Worthing Thunder are currently occupying eighth spot in the British Basketball League [03/11/09], with a record of three wins and six losses in nine league encounters.

John Hobbs for talkbasket.net

To listen to the full Kadiri Richard interview, with John Hobbs. Check out www.worthing-thunder.org.uk or e-mail John at [email protected]