FAB Flournoy has warned the British Basketball League that Charles Smith could remain at the top for years if he wants to.
Smith broke Newcastle Eagles’ all-time scoring record with his 49 point haul against Durham Wildcats on Sunday – and an awestruck Flournoy reckons he could have got to 60 if fatigue hadn’t eventually caught up with him.
In racking up 49, Smith managed to knock Jeremy Hyatt out of the Eagles’ record books – another line for the CV of arguably Newcastle’s greatest ever player.
It was just the latest achievement for Smith in a career which has seen him turn from athletic, all-action dunker to the more measured forward who eviscerated the Wildcats at the weekend.
Flournoy said it was a “privilege” to watch Smith play so well at the weekend – and sees no signs of decline in the evergreen Philadelphia native.
He said: “I was just happy to be there to watch it.
“I don’t normally keep players on for all 40 minutes but I had to do it for Charles.
“It’s usually a case of players being fatigued so I will take them out but it was something spectacular.
“It was something which needed to be witnessed.
“The funny thing is he could have had 60 points by the end, he missed two because of tiredness towards the end so he might have even had one or two more points.”
Flournoy added: “Charles was very, very impressive in the way he went about his business on Sunday and it wasn’t like the Wildcats were letting him score.
“They were the form team and had the coach of the moment as well but Charles’ performance was one of the best you’re likely to see in the BBL.
“Charles just keeps getting better. A lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them Charles was an athletic high-flier – he was a dunker, someone who used to be an all-action, powerful player.
“He’s changed his game as that level of athleticism has decreased but don’t underestimate his skill set.
“Unfortunately that is something which does tend to happen with Charles – because of his persona and his personality, and because he’s such a quiet guy, he tends to fall under the radar.
“At times he’s underestimated, at times people seem to just forget about him.
“The thing about Charles is he just keeps getting better.”
Meanwhile, Flournoy will leave it until the last minute to decide whether he is fit to face Worcester Wolves in Friday’s BBL Trophy quarter-final at Sport Central.
Damon Huffman is out for up to a month with a torn muscle in his hip flexor but Flournoy – the natural replacement at point guard – will not be facing quite so long on the sidelines.
His groin problem may, however, keep him out.
He said: “It was a grade one or two pull of my groin.
“I’m likely to be out a week or two. With Friday’s game, it’s just a day-by-day thing.”