Hunter’s hopes as president of NABC

Capping a remarkable year for Georgia State men’s basketball, coach Ron Hunter was recently named the executive president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The NABC’s goal is “to further the best interests of the game of basketball as well as the players and coaches who participate in the sport.”

Hunter, who led the Panthers to the third round of the NCAA tournament after winning the Sun Belt’s regular-season title and tournament, will serve as president for one year. He has been on the board of the NABC for more than 10 years.

Hunter discussed his goals as president. Questions and answers have been edited or paraphrased for clarity and brevity.

Q: First, will you try to pass a rule that every coach much work from a chair or stool?

A: Yes, everyone must coach from a stool and you can’t beat the president. I expect to go undefeated next year.

Q: What are the issues you hope the group can work on during the next year?

A: Right now the big talk is improving the game. Speeding the play up. Our game is great. The NCAA tournament proves that by viewership. But we have to stay on top of that to stay exciting.

Hope we do change the shot clock so the game can keep progressing.

Q: What would you like to see the clolck?

A: Thirty for the first year. Going to 30 would be OK. I don’t want to go to the NBA because we aren’t the NBA. The women are at 30. We are only group that is still at 35-second shot clock.

Q: What about reducing the number of timeouts?

A: I think we have too many timeouts. I think we should cut the media timeouts. I know the media timeouts are based on money. Taking away the coaches’ timeouts, I have a hard time with it.

Q: What is your reaction to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s comments that college basketball is unwatchable?

A: I respectfully disagree with that. Again, look at viewership. A lot of people could say the NBA game is unwatchable during the regular season.

To say it’s (college basketball) unwatchable is a stretch.

The NBA is more of a corporate game. People don’t pay attention to NBA until the playoffs.

To say it’s unwatchable is more disrespectful to our game than anything else.

Q: Would that be your reaction if the Mavericks pick your son R.J. Hunter in the NBA draft?

A: (Laughs) Then he’s 100-percent correct in everything he says. You’ve got to take care of family.

Q: What are some of the other things you hope to tackle?

A: I want to keep progressing our relationship with the NCAA, which has gotten so much better. We want to improve the game for our student athletes. If it’s great for our student athletes it’s great for the game.

Q: Does the NABC have any say in the NBA draft rules?

A: There’s already a proposal that’s out that I can’t comment on, other than to say I’m in favor of it. It would have made R.J.’s decision easier. I’m 100 percent in favor of it. (The proposal would move the withdrawal date for the NBA draft until late May. The date now is April 26).

For coaches, (under the new proposal) it’s tough because you have to wait until May and you can’t use the scholarship. But it’s best for the kids. So I’m in favor of it. Especially after this year, I wish it had gone on.

It would allow R.J. to go to Chicago, go to the NBA combine, get the feedback and then decide if he wanted to go back to school or go to the draft.

It’s awesome for the kids. I’m 100 percent behind it.

Some coaches disagree with it because there may not be kids you can sign. But it’s perfect for the kids. It’ll make college basketball better because maybe the kids do come back. It strengthens college basketball.

But you’re not talking about that many kids. You are talking about the elite of the elite, less than 5 percent of the kids.