British Basketball is delighted to announce that Neil Wilkinson has been appointed as the GB National Instructor for the 2017-18 season.
Neil’s responsibilities will include the recruitment, training and testing of our National and International referees in preparation for FIBA's new Competition System and Calendar, which commences this year.
Testing will include verbal, written and fitness assessments of our referees, which will ultimately result in promoting excellence, professionalism and national and international development in refereeing to meet the requirement of modern-day basketball.
Neil is no stranger to officiating having had 26 years’ experience in the role. Some of his many experiences include refereeing the men's final at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, the London Prepare Series in 2012 and – of course – several games in the BBL and Euroleague.
“Neil’s experience made him the ideal candidate for the role of National Instructor,” commented British Basketball Chief Executive Lisa Wainwright. “He will be pivotal to improving the standard of officiating and growing the pool of talent at every level of the game.
Wilkinson said: “It is with great pleasure that I have taken on the role of GB National Instructor for officiating.
“There is a wealth of talent within our basketball community that needs to be showcased. We have a tradition of being a strong nation within officiating and this must be built upon. The role not only embraces the pinnacle of our refereeing, but is also about bringing together three nations to be one great force within basketball. To date, there has been collaboration, though this has been limited. It seems a waste of resources that we work in silos with the same objective.
“I see my first key priorities to be the resolution of the licensing procedure, bringing together English, Scottish and Welsh referees under the umbrella of Great Britain and sharing our talents and expertise. Linked to this is the standardisation of our officials’ development through high-calibre education, tutorage and coaching. Finally, I feel that we need to develop a three-year plan for officiating with clear milestones and targets to ensure that there is a shared vision, effective resourcing within the funding we have and officiating galvanised to improve at all levels.
“I recall a conversation when I was once asked: ‘Where are you from?’ by a member of FIBA and I replied: ‘Great Britain.’ Their reply was: ‘What is great about it?’ They walked off….I would like to help make our officiating great.”
British Basketball wishes Neil all the best in his new role and look forward to him bringing his experience, enthusiasm and new ideas to the role.