Ahead of the National World University Games (WUG) in Taiwan from August 19-30, the head coaches for both the women and men have been announced.
Chris Lucas will lead the women’s team, bringing a wealth of experience that includes three previous trips to the World University Games.
Lucas was also the head coach of the Australian Sapphires in 2014, an assistant coach at the 2004 Olympics as well as a two-time WNBL Champion coach with the Townsville Fire and his knowledge of the team’s attributes and playing style will prove very valuable to the group of aspiring Opals.
“The World University Games are very helpful for the development of our younger athletes coming through the system and will expose the group to a village environment and a terrific level of competition,” said Lucas.
The women’s team will comprise of eligible athletes 23 years of age and under with an International Under-23 tournament held in Japan from August 12-15 helping Lucas and his coaching staff to select the WUG team.
“We will be taking a younger group compared to the other countries but this tournament will give us an opportunity to gel the team.
“To expose any player to that level of competition will put them in good stead for the future and hopefully fuel their desire to represent Australia at a senior level.”
The WUG men’s Team will be led by Basketball Tasmania’s Development Manager, Mark Radford, who has been intrinsically involved in the High Performance pathway.
Radford has diverse experience across SEABL as a head coach and the NBL as an assistant coach while he has previously been an assistant coach with the Australian Emus.
“Any coach that has been in the pathway for a number of years will know how much of a privilege it is to be involved with athletes of this level and hopefully the coaching staff can aid their development into becoming future Boomers,” said Radford.
The men’s team will comprise of eligible athletes 25 and under and the team will attend the Asia Pacific University Challenge from August 8-16 as a lead-in to the World University Games.
“The challenges of a quick-fire tournament mean you have to pull together in a short amount of time and find answers,” said Radford.
“The boys who will be selected will have played together through the pathway and the strength of the pathway from High Performance filtering down will enable us to confront those challenges.”
BA was thrilled to have had several high number of quality applications for these positions and assistant coaches will be selected in the next week with the teams to be announced prior to the men’s and women’s pre-WUG tournaments.