The Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams have announced that Mick Downer will be the new Rams Head coach. Mick is currently the assistant coach with the Brisbane Bullets coached by former NZ Breakers coach and current Australian men’s national coach Andrej Lemanis. Mick comes to the Canterbury region with 10 years of coaching in the ANBL and 4 years as the Australian Men’s National team assistant coach including the Rio Olympics, where Australian finished 4th. As well as Mick’s role as Head Coach with the Rams, he will support the player and coach development within the Mainland Eagles Academy.
“What stood out about Mick, is his proven track record with developing both players & coaches from young aspiring players to elite professional players. To have someone of Mick’s experience and track record, year round in Canterbury will be exciting for both our player and coach development,” stated Rams General Manager, Caleb Harrison.
As well as Mick’s experience at the professional & international levels he has been the Coach Development Manager for Basketball Queensland, High Performance Head Coach for Western Australia and Head Coach for the Australian World University Games team.
”We are so excited as a family to be joining the Rams organisation. From day one the communication with the club has been great and we are looking forward to helping lead and build on the work done in recent years and take the team to the ultimate success. Our immediate plan is to get to know both the on and off court team at the Rams and start our plan for next season. We aim to play an aggressive and enjoyable style of basketball our fans, business partners and inspire the younger generation of future Rams players. It will be an honour to play a key role in what we aim to be a successful part of the clubs journey. Bring on 2019 Rams Basketball!!” stated Rams coach Mick Downer.
Mick will move to Christchurch from Brisbane with his wife Mel and daughter Evie at the conclusion of the current ANBL season. Mel is currently the State Performance Manager for Basketball Queensland and has previously been the women’s coach at the Centre of Excellence (previously known as the Australian Institute of Sport). Mel was the U17 Australian National team assistant coach where Australia placed third at the most recent FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup. Mel will take on a player & coach development role within the Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation working with the Canterbury representative and Mainland Eagles Academy programmes.
“Mel’s experience speaks for itself, we are looking forward to her adding value and building on the success of the Representative and Mainland Eagles Academy programmes. Mel’s knowledge of high performance programmes from her experience with Basketball Queensland and the Centre of Excellence, which are considered world class programmes, will be invaluable as we support our young aspiring players throughout the region,” stated Caleb Harrison.
About the Mainland Eagles Academy-
The Mainland Eagles Academy was established in 2014 by the Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation (sister organisation of the Canterbury Rams) to support male and female players throughout the South Island to pursue their dream of pursuing tertiary education & basketball excellence both in New Zealand and the United States. Since 2014 the Academy has supported 28 players in receiving US College scholarships.
About the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams-
The Canterbury Rams were revived in 2014 by a group of basketball enthusiasts with a combination of business and basketball acumen and experience who are committed to establishing a long-term and successful Canterbury Rams franchise that plays a significant role in increasing the numbers participating in community basketball, provides an aspirational development pathway for our talented Canterbury youngsters and contributes to community development in Christchurch.
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