BEN Rush is no stranger in Northern Tasmania.
The 43-year-old was born, schooled and lives in Launceston. Now he is the face of the city’s semi-professional basketball team.
Rush was named Reece Potter’s replacement as Launceston Tornadoes coach on Wednesday, a job he is keen to make his own.
The father-of-two coached Hobart Chargers men’s team for one season in 2015, has extensive experience coaching in Europe, with the Australian Institute of Sport and has been involved in junior development with Basketball Tasmania since 2012.
All credentials Tornadoes chairperson Janie Finlay said were enough to take the club forward.
She said there was international and national interest in the role and that a quick and seamless transition was essential.
Launceston made last year’s eastern conference grand final after missing out in a drought-breaking finals campaign in 2015 under Potter.
“Reece and I developed a good relationship… and we talked regularly throughout the past few years and in the past few days,” Rush, a former Summerdale Primary, Prospect High and Launceston College student, said.
“We have some very similar approaches to the game.
“I know there is that pressure there to make finals and it’s not the only thing the club is about, but that has been set up now and it’s my job to do the best I can – I’m really excited.”
The qualified physical education teacher said his two-year contract allowed him to shape his own team.
Torns 2016 MVP Ally Wilson’s departure has already been confirmed and Rush said Tayla Roberts was a certainty to play too many minutes for Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL this season to qualify to play for Launceston next season.
Rush said some retirement announcements were also pending and was pleased that captain Lauren Mansfield and American Mikaela Ruef had re-signed.
“We will build exactly how we are going to play as the team comes together, as there are still some players to be added,” he said.
“There is going to be some change and whether we can go that step further, the proof will be in the pudding.”
Rush will officially start his duties later this month with the Tornadoes first SEABL match against Hobart Lady Chargers on March 25.
- Basketball Tasmania development officer
- Luxembourg Basketball Fed. women’s youth coach
- British Basketball performance member
- England Basketball development officer
- Australian IOS men’s scholarship coach