Q&A with Stats Expert Dave Owen

Firstly, can you introduce yourself please?
I’m Dave Owen, I run DaveOwenBasketball.co.uk and I’m currently working with Basketball England to help with their stats and promotion for the NBL.

What impact do you think the new NBL coverage has had?
I think it really helps the players out there to know that if they have a good game, they get the reward and recognition they deserve on a national scale. From the feedback I’ve had from players that’s really important. To now have the governing body in Basketball England promoting these guys means that when someone does play well, their performance is recognised and it gives them an incentive to do well. I’ve always thought that’s very important.

Your coverage has always been very popular. Why do you think that is?
It’s not really been done before, not at National League level anyway. I was doing this myself on my own channels for about 3 years and Basketball England recognised that and we began to work together.

What made you want to do what you’re doing?
I’ve played basketball for 20 years, though never to any real level. I can relate to players and how a lot of them think, they want to be put on a platform and recognised I’d say. If they’re performing at any level, as professional players, national team players or National League players, for me they deserve to be on a platform where we showcase and celebrate their talent and what they’ve done in their career.

That led me to my website, so if anyone is performing at any level, there’s a profile with a picture, videos, stats and career history. I also have talent rating stuff on there as well which is useful for younger players looking to go to America. That really helps to push them to the college coaches who are looking at the website from the States.

What are the next steps in the work that you do?
I really want the next stage of the website to focus on what has gone before. There wasn’t always a big social media coverage of the sport in the past, I don’t want all these fantastic basketball players that have already had great careers to just disappear. I want to help give young players icons to look up to. We know all about recent legends like Drew Sullivan, and some players before him, but I want my website to be a place that young players can go to understand the history and culture of British basketball. I want younger players to be able to look someone up and say “I want to be like that guy”, or “I want to get to where they got to”, or “I want to emulate his playing style.” Our players probably look to NBA players for that growing up, when really what we want is for younger players to be looking at our own players for that kind of thing. We have legends, but they’re just hard to find out about on the internet right now!

What skills help you with your current work?
Time management, as I have a full time job that I do around my stats work. That’s nothing new as a lot of people in basketball have about 5 jobs, but it’s tough as everything always comes in at once. With most of the games happening during the weekend, everything comes to me at the same time so it’s not like I can spread the load throughout the week. So, I’m always rushing to sort through everything on Monday and Tuesday evenings after work! It’s so rewarding though, some guys in the past have contacted me to say that based on something I’ve posted a college coach in the States has contacted them or something like that. My work gets players some attention and puts them on people’s radars, so the fact that maybe something I do can lead to that and potentially further someone’s basketball career, that means a lot to me.

What are your thoughts on working directly with the NBL?
I love it and love doing what I do. I think because we’ve never really had this before at this level it’s a big kick for players to see their name and get exposure on a national level to get people talking about them, especially for the younger guys.

Have you been following the lead up to the Commonwealth Games?
I was at the latest Men’s camp on the Monday. It’s rare that we can see so many of our best English players in the same place at the same time. Basketball may have its problems, but we definitely don’t have a problem with talent! To watch elite level guys working like that, you really do see that talent coming out. There was a real commitment in the practice I watched, guys playing hard and working hard for each other and the coach, I’m excited about what we can achieve.

How do you rate our chances out on the Gold Coast?
I think we absolutely have a chance of winning a medal, on both sides. When you talk about international play, so often it comes down to one play in the last minute where the game can go one way or another, the fine lines that can separate teams. Certainly with the teams we’re taking out there and the coaching staff involved, we’ve got a really good chance of a medal.

Is there anything else you’d like to add before we sign off?
Just a plea to all NBL teams! Please, please record your LiveStats or 3 Top Scorers for every game so no players miss out on my coverage. Also, please send your player head shots to media@basketballengland.co.uk, we don’t want to put out coverage with blank faces on, we want players to be recognised! Lastly, if anyone needs anything on stats, I’m always contactable via Facebook, Twitter or through my website so give me a shout.