After nearly three decades of involvement in junior basketball, Cecil Exum was ready to take a step back.
That was until he got an offer from Broadmeadows Basketball Association to be their director of coaching for its junior representative program which was too good to refuse.
With his son Dante playing with the Utah Jazz in the NBA, Exum senior is spending more time in the US, so coaching came second.
Exum said Broadmeadows was willing to work around his travel plans, which made it an easy decision to join the Broncos.
“It’s a small basketball community and I’ve got friends at Broadmeadows,” he said.
“They approached me and asked if I was interested in running the program.
“After 27 years of coaching I was thinking of not continuing but Broadmeadows was really persuasive.
“It’s an opportunity to develop more kids.”
Exum comes to Broadmeadows after seven years at Diamond Valley and before that he spent five years at Keilor and 15 years at Werribee.
Exum, who played college basketball with Michael Jordan and was drafted to the NBA before coming to Australia to play in the NBL, has a reputation for developing junior programs.
With the Broncos, his aim is to have a side in every age group in Victorian Junior Basketball League’s top division.
This year three Broncos teams were in the top grade.
“I’d like to improve that in my stint,” he said.
“I’ll look at more coaching and more development to get the skills up.
“The way the VJBL runs there’s two grading phases, one before Christmas and phase two after the Australia Day weekend.
“We’ll be trying to get early wins so we can be graded as high as possible.”
Exum said he plans to call on contacts to get involved and help to establish the program.
He said the process would take two to three years to get it to the level he wants.
“It’s about getting the right coaches with the right teams,” he said.
“Part of my role is having a look at the domestic program which is the foundation for the rep program.
“I’ll be looking at increasing numbers and working on skills and making sure we’re offering clinics and pathways. Hopefully I can get others on board to get the program where I want it.”
Exum said one of the drawcards of Broadmeadows was the pathway from the junior level through to senior level, with the two programs working hand-in-hand.
Broadmeadows president Glen Milner said Exum’s appointment was a huge step forward for the association.
“The appointment of Cecil to the role of director of coaching further consolidates our ability to attract people of high calibre and talent to our community based and family oriented organisation,” he said.