Newly-appointed Latrobe City Energy senior women’s coach Jeff White says he is looking forward to applying his 40 years of basketball experience to his new position.
White replaces outgoing mentor Andrew Harlow, who has stepped down after three seasons in the role.
In Harlow’s final season, the Energy finished third in Big V Basketball’s division one women’s competition after winning 14 of its 20 games.
White said he hoped to build on his predecessor’s success.
“It’s about growing the program and having somewhere for juniors to progress to,” he said.
White comes to the position with a background in referee coaching and coached Latrobe City in the Victorian Junior Basketball League.
He said he hoped the position would allow him to share his basketball knowledge.
“The opportunity presented itself (and) I thought ‘why not?’ while I’m still young enough to still offer something,” White said.
“Plenty of people have helped me along the line, so it’s an opportunity to give something back.”
While the new coach is yet to settle on a line-up for this year, his first task will be to fill the gaps of departing duo Chelsea D’Angelo and Alysha Marcucci, and import unlikely to return Shanice Steenholdt. Steenholdt was unstoppable last season, posting 433 points for Latrobe City last season at an average of 21.6 points a game.
D’Angelo was no slouch either with 174 points at an average of 14.1 a game.
But the new coach was focusing on the positives.
“There’s three big holes to fill on the rosters,” White said.
“I think there’s an upside for some new blood coming in or players getting an opportunity to shine in the absence of the players who have moved on.”
He said he planned to hold try outs towards the end of the month.
“The style will be determined by the make-up of the team,” White said.
“But at this stage the players I’m getting in are small to medium (in size).
“So we’ll probably look to play a real up tempo, running game… trying to get cheap points on fast breaks.”
The club welcomed White’s appointment in a statement released on its website.
“White has accepted a 12 month deal which sees him replace Energy’s 2016 coach, Andrew Harlow,” the statement said.
“Harlow steps down after three years in the role, and the Energy committee acknowledges his support for the program and development of a successful team over this time.
“White is well known in the basketball community in Gippsland, and has been an avid supporter of the Energy program for a number of years.
“In his role as a referees evaluator he has been there to witness the ups and downs of the Energy BigV program at almost every home game in the past decade.”
The 2017 Energy Big V season tips off in late March.