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Shane McDonald steps up coaching role

Shane McDonald was back in Horsham playing for the Nunawading Spectres in a South East Australian Basketball round-robin tournament in 2014. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

Shane McDonald was back in Horsham playing for the Nunawading Spectres in a South East Australian Basketball round-robin tournament in 2014. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

By Colin MacGillivray
Shane McDonald has enjoyed one of the most decorated playing careers of any Wimmera basketballer.
The 33-year-old has played four seasons in Australia’s top league, the NBL, suiting up for the Singapore Slingers, Perth Wildcats, Melbourne Tigers and New Zealand Breakers.
He has also cemented his status as one of the best players in the history of the South East Australian Basketball League, holding the league’s all-time assist record and being named co-MVP for the 2013 season as a member of the Nunawading Spectres.
While the point guard, originally from Horsham, has no immediate plans to hang up his jersey, he has made forays into a potential post-playing career – coaching.
McDonald will be an assistant coach for the Victorian men’s under-20 team that will contest the national under-20 championships in Canberra in February.
It is the second consecutive year McDonald will be assistant coach for the team.
He is also a basketball coach at Melbourne’s prestigious Maribyrnong Sports Academy.
McDonald said coaching was something he had always enjoyed.
“Coaching is a passion of mine – it’s something I’ve gotten into as I’ve entered the later stages of my playing career,” he said.
“I’m passionate about the game and making an impact, particularly on young people’s lives.
“I get to do that as a teacher as well, but to do that as a coach is a bit of a vehicle for me to have a really positive impact on people’s lives.”
McDonald said he was invited to fill the vacant assistant coach role by members of Basketball Victoria and had a great time with the team as it claimed a national championship last year.
He said he had learned plenty from the experience and was excited to apply that knowledge when coaching this year’s team.
“With under-20s it’s a really short preparation phase, so you have to do a lot of coaching on the run once you get to the national championships,” he said.
“We had all sorts of different things pop up. One of the biggest things I learned was how to manage different personalities through the highs and lows of tournament play to get your team peaking towards the end of the tournament when all the medal rounds hit.”
McDonald will be under head coach Chris Anstey, a former NBA and NBL player with experience as a NBL head coach.
“He’s a really good guy and he’s had some good coaching experiences at NBL level and as an assistant coach for the Australian under-19 team,” McDonald said.
“It’s always good to meet up with him and learn what I can from him.”
McDonald said he was unsure where his coaching roles might lead him, but was content simply to enjoy them as his playing career wound down.
“It’s hard for me to know where I want to take my coaching at this point in time because I’m still juggling between wearing my playing hat and my coaching hat,” he said.
“I’m just enjoying the coaching caper at the minute and looking forward to where it might take me in the future.”

The entire December 5, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 5 2018

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