Macca can't refuse the joy of coaching junior basketball

Known to many as the Godfather of Sunshine Coast basketball, to his latest crop of eager learners he’s simply known as Macca.

John McGlynn, who has tutored generations of Coast hoopers and coached at regional and state level, will coach the Rip City under-12 girls’ team for the 2021 season.

McGlynn said the enjoyment of coaching the next generation, young enough to be his granddaughters, keeps his passion for the game alive.

“With the record I’ve got, coaching at a higher level, it’s win at all costs and there’s not a real lot of enjoyment in it,” McGlynn said. “What I’ve had to do with the girls so far I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m only too happy to help out the club.”

The coach’s focus will be on skills development for the youngest USC basketball representative team.

“Under-12s should just be skills based,” McGlynn said. “Dribble, shoot, pass, defence, that’s all they need to know. If they can dribble, shoot, and pass a ball, that’s all they really need to know at one end and as long as they can play decent defence at the other end, they will go alright.”

Returning from the 2020 U12 Challenge Cup gold medallist team is Sienna Bishop, Korina Bezic, Nina Mansfield and Willow Thomas. They will be joined by former Northside player Isabelle Wieland and newcomers Maita Dawkins, Laura Erlund, Paige Kussrow, Ivy-May Sweeting and Allegra Wieland.

“I think they are going to be a good bunch of kids,” McGlynn said. “They all listen intently. They all try very hard to do what we tell them to do. I think we’ll have an enjoyable year.”

Improvement on and off the court and fun will be the focus for the team.

“My philosophy is a bit different to everyone else. I don’t care if we win, lose or draw,” McGlynn said. “It doesn’t worry me one little bit. Scoreboards mean nothing to me. If we play to our level, that’s good. If we play better than our level, that’s better. If we play under our level, it means we’ve got more work to do.

“We don’t just improve them on the court, we try to improve them outside the court as well so they become better people. They get on with people better, they communicate better, it’s a lot more than just playing basketball.”

McGlynn will be assisted by rising star Layla Prince. The 17-year-old is a Rip City women’s team and junior state representative player. Prince, who averaged 8.6 points and 7.4 rebounds during the 2020 QSL season for USC., will provide plenty of inspiration for the young girls, having been in their shoes, playing her first representative basketball game, just six years ago.

The season starts with grading weekends on January 31 and February 7, followed by Round 1 on February 20. The state championships will be played from June 27-30.

U12 Girls Team: Sienna Bishop, Korina Bezic, Maita Dawkins, Laura Erlund, Paige Kussrow, Nina Mansfield, Ivy-May Sweeting, Willow Thomas, Allegra Wieland, Isabelle Wieland. Coaches: John McGlynn, Lalya Prince. Manager: Sharon Burn.

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