END OF AN ERA AT WARRANDYTE BASKETBALL

Warrandyte Basketball’s Justin Nelson has announced he will be stepping down from coaching the Venom’s senior women following the coming finals series and is also departing from his full-time position at the club as General Manager at the end of August.

The decision has come on the back of Nelson looking at other opportunities in his professional life. After eight years at the club he says the timing is right.

“I have enjoyed eight fantastic years at Warrandyte and will always call it home. This is a great club and it is a privilege to be a life member at a sports organisation that is also home to so many other people,” said Nelson.

“Whether my next role is in sport, the media or a commercial position, I’m not sure yet, my main priority is to see a smooth transition at Warrandyte, hopefully win a championship with the senior women’s team and then move on to the next phase.

“I’m looking at a couple of exciting opportunities that are too good to ignore and I felt that I needed to give the club warning before I accepted one of them. None of them are in conflict with the club and hopefully I can announce what I’ll be doing by the end of August,” added Nelson. 

“If I stay in basketball I want to give back on a larger scale and I think I can add something to that end, but right now we’ll see what evolves over the coming weeks.”

Nelson has also called time on a decade-long senior coaching career that has netted three Coach of the Year Awards, seven trips to the Big V finals and respect amongst his peers for leading one of the best defensive teams in the Division One Women’s competition.

“Including my years coaching junior basketball, I’ve been going around for more than half my life and I’d like to think I’m still reasonably young, but it’s time for a change and to focus on other opportunities,” explained Nelson.

“Here at Warrandyte I’ve been fortunate to hold onto the senior coaching role since day one and we’ve enjoyed some great results. Hopefully we can cap it off with some more success during the current finals series.”

Asked about his coaching future, Nelson was quick to point out his decision had nothing to do with another coaching role.

“They say in sport that you’re a long time retired, so I’m not stupid enough to say I’ll never coach another game of basketball, but it isn’t on my radar right now and when it comes to priorities it’s not even on the list,” said Nelson.

“The WBA executive committee have been very supportive. It has been a transparent process since making the decision and I can’t thank them enough for that support. Whoever comes into either of my roles will be joining a fantastic club that has enjoyed incredible growth in recent years. It really is a family-friendly and supportive place to be.”

Warrandyte Basketball President, Richard Cookes, says though the place won’t be the same without Nelson visibly there, he knows Warrandyte pumps through his veins and he will always only be a phone call away.

“If you think you have seen Justin Nelson do all the jobs around Warrandyte Basketball then it is probably because he has,” said Cookes, adding “Justin has been President, General Manager, Division 1 Women’s Coach, Referee and a long-time VJBL coach. You name it, he has done it.

“After eight years service to the club, which has included overseeing a period of tremendous growth, Justin has decided it is time to leave and take on even bigger challenges. 

“On behalf of the WBA committee and our members we would like to thank Justin for his valuable service and leadership over the years and we wish him the best in whichever role he finally chooses,” added Cookes.

“Justin has decided not to coach the senior women next year so please, to all of our supporters and families, come and support his team in the finals over the coming weeks.”

Warrandyte Basketball has commenced its search for a new General Manager and is looking to make a further announcement in the coming weeks. The club will also advertise for a new senior women’s coach at the completion of the current season.




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