Vickerman thankful after bringing up double-century of wins
Melbourne United Media
While Melbourne United were excited to celebrate their Throwdown series sweep against the South East Melbourne Phoenix, the club was equally ecstatic to shine a light on Head Coach Dean Vickerman, who brought up his 200th NBL coaching win on Saturday.
The victory makes Vickerman just the 11th man to ever hit the 200 win mark; a milestone he admitted meant a lot to him.
Speaking to the crowd after the game, he heaped praise on his playing group, along with all of United’s supporters.
“It’s one milestone that I was pretty keen to get,” he said.
“There’s a lot of thank you’s that need to happen. We have sellouts and these fans have been amazing; We want to ramp it up a little bit over these next few weeks.
“I love coaching this team, they’re a high IQ, smart basketball team and it’s the same with our coaching staff and support staff, they’ve been absolutely amazing.”
A two-time NBL championship winner with Melbourne, Vickerman boasts the second-best winning percentage of all the 200-win coaches other than Brian Goorjian.
He expanded on his feelings about the achievement in the post-game press conference.
“To get 200 wins in my tenth season, the maths is pretty simple on that one… I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in these first 10 years,” he explained.
“I’ve been able to coach some fantastic players across a couple of different clubs and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I’m still enjoying it as much as I ever did.”
One player who has been with Vickerman across a number of years is Shea Ili, who first started his career under the coach in New Zealand.
“He was my first coach in the league and I’m grateful for every opportunity he’s given me,” Ili said.
“From top to bottom he keeps everyone accountable and on their toes, it doesn’t matter if you’re the top guy or the bottom guy, he treats everyone the same.
“As someone that coaches that way, you want to go out and fight for him every game.”
Fans will get their next chance to see Vickerman add to his win total on Sunday 11 February from 2pm against his former team, the New Zealand Breakers.
Tickets are sold out, so if you’re not in the building, make sure you don’t miss a second of the action by tuning in on Kayo Freebies or 10 Peach.