By Oliver Lees
John White has been named as the new head coach of the Sunbury Jets in the Big V men’s championship division, with the experienced coach agreeing to a three year deal with the club.
White has served as the head coach of the Jets’ women’s side for the past two seasons, with the team showing impressive form despite consistent interruptions to the season due to lockdown restrictions.
He led the Jets championship division women to second place on the table with 12 wins and two losses, just one win behind first place Bulleen.
“I’m pretty stoked to be a part of the men’s program, but it’s a bit bittersweet as I also feel like I have unfinished business with the women’s,” he said.
“For me, it’s [coaching] about giving players an opportunity to perform and I feel like even over the last couple years in preseason and in games, that’s been the case.
“Moving over to the men’s, it’s the same idea for me. I want to make sure the players have a platform where they can be seen, and I want to keep building on the culture they’ve put in place the last few years.”
White built an impressive resume working a number of coaching positions across the state before joining the Jets.
White served as an assistant coach for the Melbourne Tigers in the 2013-14 season in the NBL, learning from NBL legends Chris Anstey and Daryl McDonald.
From 2016 to 2019, White led the Dandenong Ranges in the NBL1 and also served as an assistant for the Ranges in the WNBL.
“Working with all of these high level players was a really good experience, it gave me confidence that I can work at an elite level,” he said.
White will take over the role from Ryan Addison who announced he would be stepping away from the position due to work commitments last month.
In 2019, Addison steered the Jets to their first men’s championship in 10 years, defeating the Warrandyte Venom and propelling them to the top flight division of Victorian basketball.
The Jets’ men’s side finished the shortened 2021 season in seventh place with six wins and eight losses.
Jayce Beasley was named as the side’s most valuable player for the season.
Beasley finished the season averaging 14.2 points per game on 43 per cent shooting.
White said it’s not in his immediate plans to transform the team Addison helped build.
“I’m hoping to be able to bring back the nucleus of the group from last season,” he said.
I couldn’t really point out any one player I’m most looking forward to working with, it’s more the program that’s really up and coming and exciting to me.
“I think my main aim is to consolidate the pathway from juniors to seniors, to bring in as much talent that way as we can.”
White said the team will get back on the court for training as soon as restrictions allow.
“I think I’ll probably be bringing ever greater expectations to the club next season, I want to see these guys really set themselves up to be a great team,” he said.
“Coach Ryan [Addison] did a really good job and I’ll be looking to build on that and find some leaders in the group.
“Mostly I just want to say a massive thankyou to the Sunbury Jets Basketball Association for the opportunity. It’s not something I take on lightly and I’m excited to be part of the program for the next three years.”
The Jets will begin the search for a new championship women’s coach in the coming weeks.