The Sunbury Jets have turned to John White to lead them into next year’s Big V women’s state championship season.
White, who has been coaching the Dandenong Rangers in the NBL1 and former SEABL competition, was announced as the Jets coach last week.
White brings plenty of experience to the role, having also been an assistant coach in both the NBL and WNBL.
He said the Sunbury coaching job was an opportunity that he was looking forward to.
“There’s a really good culture down there and a great opportunity,” he said. “They have been a league leader in all aspects of the sport, from the obvious successes on-court to the continued growth behind the scenes.
“Seeing what they have been doing, I want to be a part of that.”
White knows he has some big shoes to fill, with former coach Kennedy Kereama taking the side to three championships in his four years as coach.
This year they claimed the minor premiership, before slipping up in the preliminary final. It was White’s friendship with Kereama that sparked his interest in joining the club. Kereama is continuing his role as the Jets’ coaching director.
“I’ve got a pretty strong connection with Kennedy and we always spoke about working together again,” White said. “We were assistant coaches at Dandenong in the WNBL.
“We struck up a good relationship and spoke about Sunbury in our discussions. Their success speaks for itself.”
It will be White’s first time coaching in the Big V competition, but he said he had a good idea of what to expect.
He said he had been impressed with what he had seen early at Sunbury Jets and was keen to continue to ensure that players through all age groups want to play at the club.
“The calibre of senior players and up-and-coming talent is encouraging. My strength is the development side and there’s the opportunity to work with some really good talent.
“I’ve already found that Sunbury do things differently with the pathway [than Dandenong] between juniors and seniors and there’s a lot of clarity.”
White has had some discussions with the existing playing group and said a lot were keen to see what the new set up looks like.
He said he also has a few possible recruits in mind.
Having had a strong side the last four years, White said he wanted to continue that on next season.
“I would love to see the women’s program continue to grow and attract high-quality young women who are keen to represent the Jets and see it as a viable option to further their basketball careers.
“I would love to continue to help the Sunbury Basketball Association consolidate a program for sustained success and continue to strive to compete at the highest level.
“I’d love to continue winning championships as well.”