Bendigo Basketball Association president Mark Lennox wants the new Champions IGA Lady Braves coach to pick more country Victorian players next SEABL season.
Lennox is one of three BBA board members set to choose the new Lady Braves coach following the resignation of Lukas Carey.
“We would (want more local players), that’s why we run our junior representative program and our D-League teams, because we want to blood country Victorian players, not necessarily (just) Bendigo (players),” Lennox said.
The new coach and BBA director of coaching – a position also previously held by Carey – could be appointed before October, after applications for both positions closed on Tuesday.
The Lady Braves had a mostly new-look roster this season under Carey, and Lennox said he wanted the new coach to also consider past players, such as Kelly Wilson.
A star of the SEABL and a WNBL player with the Bendigo Spirit, Wilson wasn’t offered a contract by the Lady Braves this season.
The 27-year-old guard won the league’s MVP while playing for the Lady Braves in 2009 and was a standout performer the following two seasons.
She played for Knox this year, helping the Raiders to the SEABL grand final, while also earning selection in the SEABL’s All-Star team.
Lennox left the door open for her return.
“If she wants to come back, depending on who the coach is, it will certainly be an option,” he said.
However, Wilson has been invited back to Knox and wasn’t sure she wanted to come back to the Lady Braves.
“I love Bendigo and, obviously, I love playing here and that’s why I’ve come back, because Bendigo’s my home now,” Wilson said.
“But I’m not going to say that it didn’t hurt my feelings to be treated the way I was by the club.
“I’m loyal to the club as long as they’re loyal to me and, obviously, that didn’t work out in my favour last season. It’s a bit of a sore spot, I guess.
“For me to comment on it right now, I really couldn’t tell you. I guess it just depends how this season (with the Spirit) goes.”
Wilson said the coaching appointment would influence her decision.
Potential coaches from across Australia and overseas have applied for the two vacant positions.
Lennox said past coaches and players were among the shortlist of about 25 candidates.
“I’m not saying it’s a preference, but it would make it easier because they know all about the program,” he said.
Lennox said the BBA was open to having one person fulfil the Lady Braves and director of coaching roles, potentially on a full-time basis.