Monday 27 April 2015

Q & A with Ross McMains!

Ross McMains may not be the household name some other New Zealand basketball coaches are! But the man who has recently been named one of Pauli Henare's assistant coaches for the Tall Blacks has a pretty nice resume as a coach, including stints in the NBA Development league as an assistant coach and the big league with the Sacramento Kings as a development coach...I asked Ross a few questions about his new role with the Tall Blacks and a little bit about his career so far.

AP - How did the opportunity with the Tall Blacks come about?

RM - Through the relationship me and Pauli had built over the years when I was an intern for the Breakers, he reached out to me about it

AP - Is being involved in the national program something you ever imagined yourself doing in your career?

RM - Being involved with the tall blacks is something I've dreamed about since I was a kid growing up on Waiheke island. When I was in high school I applied for the assistant coaching position for the tall blacks... So I guess after 8 or so years, that application finally got processed! I have been hoping to find a way into being involved with the national programme for the past few years especially with all the great talent coming through in New Zealand, so I am very excited that opportunity has come along

AP - There is a wave of young talent coming through the ranks in NZ basketball at the moment! Are there any players in particular you are looking forward to working with?

RM - Basketball in New Zealand is definitely growing and it shows in all the success young players are starting to have. My roots are in player development so I'm naturally very excited to work with anyone young and ambitious to work hard and improve their game

AP - The schedule for the upcoming international campaign was released a few days ago! Is there a particular nation you are looking forward to coaching against? 

RM - I'm very excited about the campaign leading up to our series vs Australia. Every game will be big, just getting us prepared and closer as a team. But for me specifically I am definitely excited to play Slovenia. I spent a month there last year with the Dragic brothers, so will be fun to see some friends and then get to talk plenty of trash to them when we win.

AP - You have been an assistant coach with the Reno Bighorns in the NBA D league for a few years! Whats the NBA D league like to coach in?

RM - It is fun and challenging. They say if you can coach in the D league you can coach just about anywhere. There is a lot of player movement so as a coach you are constantly integrating new pieces... On a 10 man active roster we saw 28 different players this year. It is a fast paced league with a lot of scoring

AP- Have any players that have played with the Bighorns been called up to the NBA?

RM - We had 5 call ups this year. Jordan Hamilton got signed by the clippers and is currently in the playoffs. Quincy miller was with the kings and later was signed for the season by the Pistons. David Stockton, Sim Bhullar, and David Wear all had 10 day contracts with the kings, and Stockton finished the season with them

AP- You also spent some time as a development coach for the Sacramento Kings! What was it like working with players like DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans etc?

RM - It was a great experience working with the Kings. Tyreke and Demarcus are both very talented players along with the rest of the team. Tyreke would often come back at night to get extra work in, we had some great sessions together, his ball handling ability is unbelievable. Previously all my player development time had been spent training players in the off season so it was an adjustment having to manage the game to game grind the players go through and factor that into our workouts. Some players bodies fatigue more than others and need more rest. Isaiah Thomas was a guy that seemed to have endless reserves of energy as we would be in the gym into the early morning hours and also get extra work in the night before games on the road

AP - Who is your favourite NBA team? Who is your favourite player(s)?

RM - I don't have a favorite nba team, really just a group of players I always check up on and hope their teams do well. Steven Adams is one I always follow being our kiwi rep in the nba. It has been great watching his growth and how much success he already has had. Then the main other players I track are guys that I've worked with, some of the more recognizable names being... Goran Dragic, Kyle Korver, Patrick Patterson, and Khris Middleton

AP - Last but definitely not least! Do you know how to do the haka? (I'm obviously an expert haha)

RM - I've done it before, but not too confident in my current abilities, will definitely need to polish them up and get some practice in! I played one season at Kelston and we would often perform a haka before the games 

Big thanks to Ross for taking the time to answer a few questions for me! 


1 comment:

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