LA Sparks down under - WNBA coaches running Victoria clinics

LA Sparks down under - WNBA coaches running Victoria clinics

Los Angeles Sparks WNBA Head Coach Carol Ross is coming to Australia in January for a series of basketball clinics to take place in Victoria.

Ross, the 2012 WNBA Coach of the Year, will be joined by Sparks Consultant Coach Gail Goestenkors for two days of clinics produced by ESP with the support of Basketball Australia and Basketball Victoria aimed at girls in the Under 14 to Under 18 age range.

Three clinics will be conducted from 16-17 January 2014, with several WNBL and Jayco Australian Opals stars to be in attendance.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally believes attracting the likes of Ross and Goestenkors to work with our young athletes was a coup for the sport.

“The coaching CVs of Carol and Gail are as good as any coaches who have come to our shores, bringing with them a track record of success and developing players,” Keneally said.

“Being exposed to different coaching techniques and styles plays a significant part in an athlete’s development, with this opportunity presenting local players with a rare glimpse into the world of the WNBA.”

Preparing for her third season with the Sparks, Ross has played a major role in turning around the fortunes of the franchise, utilising the skills of Jayco Australian Opals star Jenna O’Hea to lead the team to back-to-back playoff appearances.

Ross said she was looking forward to the opportunity to work with young Australian players and the benefits it will garner for all involved.

“Sharing the game of basketball with players and coaches in Australia is a dream come true,” Ross said.

“The clinics will provide us with an opportunity not only to teach, but also to learn the game from the players and coaches in attendance"

Click here for further information on the three camps to take place on 16-17 January 2014.

About Carol Ross

In a coaching career spanning 30 years, Ross earned her stripes at the women’s college level, serving as an Assistant Coach at Auburn University for seven years before taking over as Head Coach of the University of Florida in 1990.

It was with the Lady Gators where Ross would build her reputation as one of the finest coaches in the women’s game, leading the team to 10 NCAA Tournaments in 12 seasons before joining her alma mater Ole Mississippi University in 2003.

Four seasons with the Lady Rebels brought two more NCAA Tournament appearances, with Ross departing the college scene with a career NCAA Division 1 coaching record of 324-161, with 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.

This record was not without recognition, winning the 1994 South Eastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year Award, the 2001 and 2004 AP SEC Coach of the Year Award, along with twice being a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award in 2001 and 2002.

Ross joined the WNBA ranks in 2009 as an Assistant Coach at the Atlanta Dream, serving three years in Georgia before taking over as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012.

About Gail Goestenkors

Goestenkors enjoyed a decorated women’s college coaching career, taking the reins of the famous basketball institution, Duke University in 1992. This would be the beginning of an immensely successful period for the Blue Devils reaching 13 NCAA Tournaments in her 15 seasons in North Carolina.

The Blue Devils won eight Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) under Goestenkors and reached the Final Four on four occasions, playing in two National Championship games in 1999 and 2006. At Duke, Goestenkors won an unprecedented seven ACC Coach of the Year awards (1996, 1998-99, 2002-04, 2007), claiming the coveted Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2003.

In 2007 Goestenkors moved to the University of Texas, spending five seasons with the Longhorns and guiding them to five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, taking her career tally to 18.

Goestenkors brings an amazing international CV, serving as Assistant Coach for Team USA at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and 2002 and 2006 FIBA World Championships, amassing three gold medals.