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6.10.2 Interview With Warren Kuhn January 2010

Basketball Crazy’s brief about Warren Kuhn:

Warren has been a significant influence in the development of basketball in WA.  Warren currently has a number of young players he has coached and assisted to win scholarships in the USA and has recently returned from USA after visiting some of these players and along with visiting other college coaches.  Warren has established a successful coaching business including coaching for school programs, one on one sessions for players and for small group sessions.  Warren has also previously worked for Basketball WA as Director of Coaching and spent many volunteer hours assisting numerous clubs and associations around Western Australia to improve the development of players and the sport in general.  Your will see by Warren’s history below that he has an extensive basketball history which would hold him to be in BBC’s opinion, equal too if not one of the most experienced basketball community members in Western Australia and even Australia.

 

Current Profession:  Private Basketball Coach       Business Name: Australian Basketball Academy

Email:          jwkuhn@bigpond.com.au

Qualifications:

  • BA Science - University of California
  • MA Bio Mechanics - University of California
  • Australian Coaching Accreditation - Level 3

Year of Birth:  1947

History of Involvement with basketball Highlights:

          Junior Playing Career

  • Commenced Playing Basketball 16 years of age
  • Canoga Park High School - 3 years varsity player
  • All League, All City Los Angles High School Association
  • Team Captain 2 Years, junior & senior years

          Senior Playing Career

  • University of California at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO)
  • Brazil
  • Spain
  • Australia

          Coaching Career & Positions Held

  • Victoria County Champions
  • WA State Junior Coach
  • WA State Senior Coach
  • WAIS Warriors Basketball Coach
  • Perth Wildcats Assistant Coach
  • Many WA SBL Head Coaching Positions
  • WA Director of Coaching

Most admired International or USA Coach:  Coach K (Duke Univeristy)

Most admired International of USA Player:  Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

Most admired Australian Coach: Guy Molloy

Most admired Australian Player:  Andrew Gaze

Most memorable basketball moment as a player: Holding the top USA college scorer to 11 points.

Most memorable basketball moment as a coach: First game in the History of the Perth Wildcats

Warren’s most used coaching phrase: Read the defence.

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Basketball Crazy’s Interview With Warren Kuhn

BBC   Hi Warren, thank you for taking the time to talk with Basketball Crazy.

WK    Thank you for the invitation

BBC   Basketball Crazy recognises you as being a significant contributor to the development of players and basketball in general in WA and it would be great if you could share with Basketball Crazy’s newsletter subscribers some of your thoughts on general basketball issues. 

WK       It is my pleasure and thank you again for asking me.

BBC  When it comes to knowing people who are crazy about basketball, you seem to be as crazy as they come.  Can you tell us why you are so involved in the sport from a career and personal point of view?

WK     I see basketball as an “art form” as much as a sport. As a player and as a coach it has been the striving for excellence and the constant challenge that that brings, is what keeps me going.

BBC  As a professional basketball coach maintaining your career as a coaching service provider, what has been some of your major challenges including making the business sustainable and building a clientele?

WK   I would have to say the lack of a professional atmosphere for coaching; and a lack of respect for coaches in general.  WA is a wonderful place to live and a horrible place to coach.

BBC Basketball Crazy has heard comments that you teach and coach basketball a little different than most coaches.  Do you believe you coach different fundamentals and strategies than main stream coaches and if so what do you believe the differences are and what are the benefits from your philosophies in coaching basketball?

WK  I have had the privilege of visiting some of the top programs in the world. San Antonio Spurs, Duke University, the Spanish National Program, the French National Program, the Argentinian National Program and more.

They all bring new things to the table, and the most important aspect is that teaching ideas should preceed teaching skills.  Skills are only worth anything when they make superior ideas work.

This concept has not been widely accepted in West Australia yet, so many coaches are uncomfortable with the new style. 

BBC  Your 40+ years of participation in this sport has seen many changes, can you tells us your thoughts on where the game of basketball has changed and what you have had to do personally to keep up with any apparent changes?

WK     Change has been constant over my time, but the most radical effect on the game has been rotation defences to replace help and recover around 1990.  Rotation defences have made most traditional offences obsolete, and have forced individual skills to be done with much greater efficency. 

BBC  You have now coached four generations of players including Baby Boomers, X, Y and now Z Generations.  Have you found it easy to adjust to the idiosyncrasies of each generation and in particular, how do you manage to communicate and motivate players from the Y & Z generations.

WK     What a great question! Years ago I could coach the players with discipline and aggression to get results.  Now I feel that players relate much more to knowledge and cleverness.

I also think that you need to educate parents about the game much more today.

BBC  As you are aware, more and more young Australian athletes are seeking scholarships in the USA College system.  You have personally assisted many players to achieve their college dream.  What do you see as so attractive for an Australian player to move to USA and attend college?

WK     US college basketball is a great atmosphere in which to play, but it is not the “Be All, End Alll.”  Players need to remember that they are not going to the College to make the player better but to make to College Team better.  The player may well get better but the focus is on the team.

BBC  Do you have a preference for a player to attend NCAA Div 1 or 2, NAIA, Junior College or other options and what would the benefits of your preferred option?

WK     Not really, it is a horses for courses deal.  You want to play and get an education at the same time, as well as a good experience.

BBC  Australia is working hard to develop players with ongoing efforts to maintain the Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Junior Camps, increased activity in ITCP, Regional Academies etc.  There is much success to brag about on the international arena with our representative senior and junior teams doing well.  There still seems to be more and more players heading overseas to college.  Do you think the basketball community should be encouraging these players to stay in Australia? 

WK     Again it depends on the needs of the individual.  The AIS is now actively supporting and even pushing players into US College Basketball. The AIS and the ITCP are 25years old with little change and development to its programs.  The AIS is now seeking input from non-main-stream coaches for the first time in its history.  I beleive this is a great change for Australian Basketball.

BBC What do you believe could be established in Australia to improve and develop basketball players that would be equal to if not better than what is offered by USA colleges?  Lets say hypothetically that you are given the responsibility to manage and establish any basketball development program in Australia with an appropriate budget and resources to match, what would you do?

WK     There needs to be a well coached, well organized U/20 or U/23 armature competition without imports.  The competition needs to be home and away and it needs to be national.

BBC What is on the agenda for Warren Kuhn in the next five or more years?  More of the same or is there change on the horizon?

WK  I have been out of the main stream of basketball in WA for some time now.  Any change of philosophy and vision for the future that may need my help would be wonderful, but change in West Australia is traditionally very slow and difficult.  Otherwise I just keep doing what I can do for the sport in my little way.

BBC Basketball Crazy wishes to thank you for your time and effort in improving basketball in WA and for participating in this interview.  Readers will hopefully find your responses interesting and thought provoking to enable others to join you in the ongoing development of basketball in Australia.  Thanks Warren.

WK  Loved it.

End of Interview

 

 

 

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