Saturday, May 19, 2012


The top women's basketball coaches certainly deserve to be the coaches of national teams. For the Australian Opals, that title currently belongs to Carrie Graf, and her assistant coaches Phil Brown, Peter Buckle and Michele Timms, while Tom Maher is the Head Coach for Great Britain. Karen Dalton helped Cheryl Chambers take the Australian U19 Gems to the World Championships in 2011, and Chris Lucas is assisting Marissa Fillipou with the Australian U17 Women at the 2012 World Championships.

This is great for Australian basketball, to have so many coaches in the WNBL who are involved in international competition at various levels.

And it’s a boost for club teams when they're coached by a national coach. Not only having a coach of international calibre, but suddenly the club is able to attract international calibre players. Not to mention players who are looking to be coached by national coaches, in hope of adding their name to the hat when selection time rolls around.

It’s a tricky job for these national coaches to juggle international obligations with club gigs. When they're coaching their teams in the domestic league, they’d have to keep track of their national players as well. There are players in Australia to watch; any injury to them might affect their international chances. There are the players overseas; you need to keep a constant eye on their form. And then there's all this young home-grown talent, sprouting up from grass roots in every state. That's a lot to look out for.

It's important though, not to overlook the world-class talent on your own home court. Perhaps it’s easy to miss, because some players consistently deliver their high standard at every scrimmage. They are elite players who never make the same mistake twice, who understand exactly what the coach needs of them, and who execute during games everything they drilled in practice.

These players deserve to be considered for national teams. They have the skill to ball with the best; they stand up when you need a leader; they play every single possession with the heart and determination of a winner. They would make the most of any opportunity, to prove that they belong in the international arena.

They are players who have been right in front of your eyes all along.

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