Profile for Murray Mackay (NZ Head Coach)

Murray Mackay has carved out a superb record in basketball, both as a player and coach.

Based in Motueka since 2010 he has brought his vast knowledge to the able-bodied and wheelchair divisions of the game over many years. He has coached the national wheelchair team for the last five years.

Murray says that coaching wheelchair basketball is more technical because of the chairs, and with skills more difficult to master. There is also a points system involved based on severely disabled and minimal disability players. Otherwise the game is just the same, including baskets at the same height.

In Murray’s time at the helm New Zealand has competed in South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Australia, with the express purpose of exposing players to the international arena and identifying the playing styles that need to be developed.

Murray made his representative debut for Canterbury at  14 years of age and played his last game aged 38. A true journeyman, he played all positions on court. Later he was General Manager/Director of coaching for the Canterbury Basketball Association. As the provincial coach he won four national titles.

Other credits include being NBL Coach, Director of Coaching North Shore and coach of the champion Auckland Women’s NBL side. He was Head Liaison Officer for the Commonwealth Basketball Championships, liaison officer for the New Zealand Games and liaison officer for the Commonwealth Games.

He also spent time within the US Collegiate Basketball programs as Associate Coach at UCLA, Pepperdine and Utah State and was Assistant Coach BYU Hawaii. He has also been Assistant Coach with the NZ Women’s Team and was liaison officer to the Australian Men’s team for Oceania qualifying.

His advice for aspiring basketball coaches is: “Learn your craft. Be prepared for a few surprises. In reality you’ve just got to do your homework, and as a coach you’re  never really satisfied with the level that your team is at. The higher level you play the more disciplined you have to be.

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