Toronto Raptors’ assistant coach Fabulous Flournoy MBE recently joined UCFB’s Sharona Friedman, James McKeown and Diana Voynova for an exclusive webinar chat to discuss the NBA, Michael Jordan and his own glittering basketball career in the British Basketball League (BBL)…

Defending NBA champions Toronto Raptors have been forced to put their pursuit of a second title on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Fab, however, said he welcomed the break during his chat with UCFB. He said: “For me, personally, I’m loving it. Situations like this create opportunities and this is giving us an opportunity to learn a different way to work.”

It is this mentality that moulded Fab into a hugely influential and consistently successful figure in the BBL, where he spent his playing and coaching career before moving to Canada. Born in the Bronx, New York, Fab moved to the UK to play for the Birmingham Bears and then the Sheffield Sharks, before a near 20-year association with the Newcastle Eagles as a player and coach which saw him and the Eagles win the BBL Cup, Trophy, Championship and Play-Offs on numerous occasions.

Then in October 2019, a life-long dream came true when he was offered the chance to join the Raptors. Fab explained: “I’m very fortunate. It’s a dream come true to work with some of the best basketball minds and the most talented players in the world.”

The significance of coaching a championship NBA side, however, is not lost on him: He added: “Playing at the highest level means you need to bring a certain level of professionalism but more importantly, pride. We have an understanding of how we want to work and how we want to represent Canadians, and how we want to represent basketball.”

Despite the unforeseen mid-season break, Fab has high hopes for the Raptors’ record this year when the season resumes – most likely this summer at Disney World in Florida. He said: “We’re always growing internally. We aren’t down about the situation, but we’re being realistic, and we’re in a good place.”