VP of Canada Rowan Barrett Under Scrutiny
Already mired in a mud of scrutiny, Canada Basketball’s Vice President Rowan Barrett has now reached a new low in the public case for conflict of interest.
Scrutiny began with claims of nepotism handling the Canadian Men’s Basketball program last summer. Complaints from the Cadets onward up to the Seniors. More notably at the the juvenile levels since his son Rowan Barrett Jr (RJ) has entered the Canucks player pool.
After conflict of interest claims at the international level, Barrett Sr is now being questioned about his influence on the Canadian AAU scene.
After AAU club UPLAY was appointed a Nike sponsorship deal in 2016, centered around Barrett’s son, the club has lured several marquee talents from rival Canadian AAU clubs. Begging the question of how much Barretts position with Canada Basketball is being used as an unethical leverage tool. Some recruited kids and their support staff are being sold that their chances playing for Team Canada increase if they play AAU basketball with UPLAY.
Big player switches like Canadian Junior Team member Grant Shepherd going to Montverde, FL and UPLAY. Or Wheza Panzo (formerly Canada Elite) and Tyrese Samuels (formerly Brookwood Elite) joining UPLAY are starting to give critics fuel to the fire. Other splash UPLAY signings in the the last twelve months include 6-10 Kwaesi Ezeagu of Can-Amera & 6-7 AJ Lawson of Markham Gators both will play for UPLAY this summer.
Barrett Sr has vehemently denied any involvement in UPLAY operations off record to Hoops Hype Canada correspondents. That being said according to multiple sources, Barrett Sr spent extensive time last weekend dialing up prominent AAU club directors in an effort to work together moving forward.
Sources verified that CIA Bounce, the only club in Canada not victimized by UPLAY, was not contacted. UPLAY has not lured away CIA Bounce talent but many in their camp think Rowan Barrett doesn’t have the audacity to contact them regardless. Consensus speaking to those close to the situation feel Barrett Sr has a venedtta against Bounce hierachy. Stemming from the two parties unable to make it work a few years back. RJ Barrett initially joined the team Tyler Ennis, a moniker under CIA Bounce. Over rumored dollar figures and demands that were not met, the two parties ended the experiment abruptly. Paving the way for a UPLAY Nike sponsorship.
Recipients of phone calls last weekend initially imagined that intentions were pure. However with breaking news last Sunday evening a Northern Kings 2020 dynamo Josh Hemmings (freshman at Oak Hill, VA) was set to pledge his allegiance to UPLAY, many on the other end of those phone calls are beginning to sneer at the situation.
Was Barrett doing preventative maintenance for backlash he’s been getting and will continue to get? or was he genuinely concerned and seeking ideas to improve chemistry and cohesion among the Canadian grassroots community?
Meanwhile AAU tug of wars for talent in Toronto continues. Another budding prospect 2020 6-7 Dane Quest of Northern Kings has also been linked with a move to UPLAY. if Quest jumps ship with or after Hemmings it would make an eye opening half dozen signees for UPLAY since January 1st alone.
As Barrett Sr vigorously denies any involvement in UPLAY decision making, last July written in an Adam Zagoria article a prominent member from UPLAY told Zags “I speak to him five times a day” regarding his son RJ’s recruitment.
Rowan Barrett Sr was nicknamed Ducky during his playing days related to how his feet were shaped. Today he’s being called Ducky for other reasons. Barrett Sr ducks real life issues surrounding Canada basketball. More upsetting he has constantly refrained from tackling the hot topics in depth with media.
Nobody wants to see another episode of AAU program(s) holding back their talent from playing for Canada. A dinosaur trick utilized by Grassroots founder Ro Russell back in the day when he was an influence on talents like Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompsons international decisions.
The handling of recently dismissed Cadet head coach Dave DeAveiro is another prime example of poor leadership that raises questions. DeAveiro was ridiculed in a post U17 tournament debriefing meeting according to Hoops Hype Canada sources close to the situation. How he managed RJ and allocated field goal attempt was reportedly his demise. DeAveiro terminated from his position as Cadets head coach still remains a topic that has been kept top secret since July. An act of cowardliness personified.
How can a civil servant hired by the government continue to shows trends of inequality and injustice?There should be zero tolerance. Here is a simple solution— Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive. Meeting and parting is one of the necessary evils of life. Time to bid adieu Ducky.