Coaching is Kevin Braswell's biggest challenge

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2014
Kevin Braswell
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ

TACTICAL MOVES: Southland Sharks senior player Kevin Braswell points something out on coach Paul Henare’s play board during the Sharks’ win over Wellington.

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Southland Sharks guard Kevin Braswell says sinking three-pointers is the easy part to his job, pointing to his other role as Southland Basketball Association development officer as one that is dishing up an enjoyable challenge.

Braswell come to Southland midway through the 2011 season to link up with the Sharks to help in their National Basketball League aspirations.

The 2010 and 2011 New Zealand Breakers star has remained with the Sharks organisation ever since and late last year made his move to Invercargill a little more permanent when he took on the association's development officer as well as linking with the Sharks to help them try to defend the NBL title they won last year.

It was that role working with the province's young basketballers that was providing inspiration for the 34-year-old from Baltimore to continue to be an impressive presence in the New Zealand league.

"[Playing] is the easy part, coaching is the hardest. I've being playing all my life so to have a plan of what I've got to teach them week after week is tough. Playing I can do in my sleep," he said. "I love it. The funny thing is I want to play well in front of the kids that I coach because then I can push them that much harder. They motivate me, they keep me here [in Invercargill].

"To see the improvement from them week to week is unreal. Six o'clock in the morning I have them training."

Braswell said progressing from playing to coaching at the NBL level in New Zealand was a prospect but time would tell, he added.

"If the opportunity arises, I would love it. My goal is go back to America in five or 10 years and, hopefully, coach there and then come back and live the rest of my life in New Zealand."

Braswell and his Sharks team-mates' next assignment is against Nelson in Invercargill on Saturday night.

Braswell agreed it was a patchy start to the campaign but, with six games under their belt and the confidence from the win over Wellington on Saturday night, he feels his team is ready to get on a roll.

"We showed [on Saturday night] what we showed last year, and it took six games for us to get going and we've missing Brian [Conklin]. Brian's back this week so we're not bad."

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- The Southland Times

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