Coaches named for Australian U17 Teams

Coaches named for Australian U17 Teams

Basketball Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of the Head Coaches for the Australian Under 17 Men’s and Women’s teams as preparations begin towards the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships.

The Women’s program will be headed up by Townsville Fire WNBL Head Coach Chris Lucas, with Mark Watkins taking the Head Coaching reigns for the Men’s program.

In this second season at the Townsville Fire, Lucas brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously coached the Adelaide Lightning (2004-2007) prior to serving three years as assistant to Carrie Graf at the Canberra Capitals.

Lucas has been involved in national team programs since 2004, firstly as an assistant coach to Jan Stirling for the Jayco Australian Opals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, before serving as an assistant coach at the 2009 and 2011 World University Games.

More recently Lucas was assistant coach to Marissa Fillipou at the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championships.

Watkins brings over 30 years of coaching experience on the domestic and international stage to the Men’s program.

A highly-regarded coach at the junior level, Watkins has successfully led Victorian and New South Wales teams at the Australian Junior Championships before serving on national coaching panels, including as assistant coach for the Australian Junior Men’s team (1997-99, 2000) and later Head Coach for the 2010 FIBA Oceania Youth Championships.

Watkins has coached at the highest level in Men’s basketball in the NBL as Head Coach of the West Sydney Razorbacks and assistant at the Razorbacks, Canberra Cannons and Gold Coast Blaze.

The qualification process for the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships includes the 2013 FIBA Oceania Under 17 Championships, which doubles as the qualifying tournament.

The selection of support staff, including Assistant Coaches, Team Managers and Medical staff will be announced in January 2013 following the Australian Development Camp, Canberra at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence.