Basketball: Lemanis joins select few

Andrej Lemanis. Photo / Greg Bowker
Andrej Lemanis. Photo / Greg Bowker

Andrej Lemanis will become just the fifth coach to celebrate 250 games in charge of one ANBL team when the Breakers play the Adelaide 36ers at Vector Arena on Thursday night.

Lemanis will be in select company, joining coaching legends Lindsay Gaze (Melbourne Tigers), Brian Kerle (Brisbane Bullets), Brendan Joyce (Wollongong Hawks) and Phil Smyth (Adelaide 36ers) in leading the one team to 250 games, the only coaches to have achieved the feat in the 34-year history of the ANBL.

Lemanis is proud of the achievement but was quick to acknowledge others at the club in Thursday night's programme notes.

"I would like to pay tribute to everybody at the club who contributes their piece to the puzzle. Many have been part of the 250 game journey with me and I thank them for all of their efforts in making this club the best in the ANBL. Much public recognition is given to the playing team and to me as the representative of the coaching team. There are just as many people contributing to the group off the court that don't get the recognition they deserve in a public forum.

We truly are a team and everyone contributes their piece to the puzzle, they all have an influence

on the success or otherwise of the on-court team."

Breakers general manager Richard Clarke said Lemanis was more than worthy of his place among some coaching greats.

"Reaching 250 games for a single club is an impressive achievement. It shows that Andrej has achieved results, but also that his vision for the team and the club were strong enough for the owners to buy into the long-term approach and give him the opportunity to build that success.

"Andrej is often quoted on his 'one game at a time' focus for the team, but reaching this milestone shows his commitment to building an environment and culture that allows that game by game approach to be successful. He is joining some great coaches in the select group that have coached 250 games at a single club, and he certainly deserves his place there."

Lemanis spoke also of his pride in seeing a generation of basketball talent fostered at the Breakers during his tenure.

"Whilst winning is great, for me the greatest pleasure comes from seeing the growth of players over the years. To see Mika Vukona, Tom Abercrombie, Alex Pledger and other young players come through and become not only better basketball players, but to see them mature and develop into wonderful people is a beautiful experience. To think that I may have had a small part to play in that development is very rewarding. The next wave of young talent is exciting and I look forward to watching them grow as Sky City Breakers over the next few years."

- APNZ

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