Worcester Student Given Prestigious National Basketball Coaching Role

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A University of Worcester MSc European Basketball Coaching Science student has credited the unique course for allowing him to ‘grow as a coach’ after he was promoted to the role of England under-16 Head Coach.

Alan Keane, who studies a postgraduate course at the University alongside working as a PE teacher in a West London comprehensive school, was chosen for the prestigious role after working as the team’s Assistant Coach for two years.

His new role puts him in charge of overseeing the progression of the country’s brightest young basketball prospects, and will see him target glory in next year’s Under-16 European Championships.

Alan explains: “After having being Assistant Coach of the national under-16 team for the last two years, I was thrilled to learn that I had got the Head Coach role. It is a challenge that I have been craving for some time – it will be a tough challenge, but one that will stretch me and allow me to grow in my profession.

“My initial target is to assemble a squad that is willing to give maximum effort and complete concentration, and from there I aim to ensure that each player has a learning experience that allows them to go away from each training camp a more skilled and smarter player.”

He continues: “The ultimate goal in terms of the team is for us to qualify for the European Division A, which will see us take part in a series of international competitions, culminating in the 2014 European Championships.”

After completing his undergraduate studies, Alan gained a PGCE before deciding to embark on further studies which would allow him to ‘dig deeper’ and develop as a basketball coach, leading him to enrol on the European Basketball Coaching Science programme.

The unique course attracts elite coaches and players from throughout Europe, and gives students the chance to develop their conceptual and theoretical understanding of the game.

Alan says: “My studies at the University of Worcester have allowed me to look deeper into coaching and analyse my own coaching. This insight into the technical, tactical, physical and mental side of the game has allowed me to grow as a coach.

“There is no doubt that my studies have helped in my coaching each day and also in acquiring the national team job.”

Alan currently also runs and coaches at a Basketball academy for children at his school, and he admits that his long-term goals are centred around coaching and developing talent in what is one of the UK’s fastest-growing sports.

“My biggest long-term goal is to be part of the Great Britain coaching team for an Olympics,” he says. “However, I have many other targets along the way – taking the under-16s to Division A and to coach the under-18 and under-20 teams.

 “For me, Worcester has the ideal situation that I am aspiring to be involved with one day – combining a University role with being head coach of a BBL (British Basketball league) team.”