Supporting role is fine with Marriott
JAY MARRIOTT was possibly the most pleased player in the Plymouth Marjon Raiders' line up that unexpectedly crushed Glasgow Rocks on Sunday night.
Raiders arguably put in one of their best performances for some time in defeating Rocks 97-69 in front of their own fans.
The match marked a return to front line action for Marriott as Raiders cemented their grip on fourth place in the BBL.
The forward had put his playing career with the city club on the back-burner due to his work with the club's community programme and academy.
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Marriott's job – with Raiders favourite Jamie Burchell – is to help develop young players, hopefully for the first team.
But after not playing since pre-season, Marriott found himself on the bench against Rocks.
Even better, Marriott got some playing time at the end of the match as Raiders sought to preserve their 30-point lead.
Mariott said: "It was a strange thing, mentally, because I'm looking more at my coaching career these days.
"I have been practising with the team, but I really wasn't expecting to play."
The reason why Marriott flew to Glasgow with the team is hit-men Michael Ojo and the now permanently departed Jeremy Bell were unavailable.
Ojo is suffering from a fractured eye socket, while Bell has had his contract cancelled by the club.
Marriott said: "I told Gav (Gavin Love, Raiders' head coach) that if there were any chances going, I'd love to give a chance to the younger players.
"The most important thing for me is that, with the academy opening, we try to produce home-grown players, or at least young players who have gone through our system.
"But Gavin wanted to add a bit of experience to the team, not necessarily playing, but helping to get everyone right for the game.
"However, for the three days leading up to the game, I'd mentally become a player again and it was great.
"I'd absolutely do it again – Gav knows if he needs a bit of experience in the team, I'll be there.
"I wasn't going to go on the court and do anything spectacular, but I wasn't going to do anything stupid, either.
"I've also been able to sit by Gavin and see how he operates, which is good for me.
"If the three minutes or so I had on the court helps to influence our season this year, then that's great.
"When your playing career's winding down, you've got to take these moments and enjoy them."