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Vickerman, Copeland join the Sydney Kings

The appointment of basketball legend Andrew Gaze as head coach of the Sydney Kings continues to deliver positives for the franchise with confirmation today of his two assistant coaches, Dean Vickerman and Lanard Copeland.

Announcing the appointments, Kings Managing Director, Jeff Van Groningen said: “We are ecstatic to secure not only two of the highest profile names in the NBL, but men who have a proven track record working with the head coach.”

Vickerman’s record as a basketball coach makes for impressive reading.

A two time NZBL Coach of the Year recipient, Vickerman has won five NBL championships – one as head coach of the New Zealand Breakers in 2014/15 and the others as assistant coach. He also was head coach of the Waikato Pistons in the NZBL for three years including winning the championship in 2009.

Vickerman served his coaching apprenticeship as assistant at the Breakers for six years and Melbourne Tigers for two years where he worked closely with Gaze while still a player. He also has international experience having coached at the World Wide Invitational in Las Vegas in 2015, the New Zealand Men’s University team (head coach) and the New Zealand National Men’s Team, the Tall Blacks (assistant coach).

The Kings also hope that Copeland’s achievements in 25 years involvement with basketball at the highest level rubs off on the new Sydney playing roster.

The US born Copeland played for both the Philadelphia 76ers and LA Clippers before arriving in Australia in 1992 where he went on to play a phenomenal 449 games over 13 years with Andrew Gaze at the Melbourne Tigers, scoring 9,862 points (21.9 per game), gave out 1,438 assists (3.2 per game), blocked 233 shots and grabbed 1,763 rebounds.

In that time, he won two NBL championships, was named MVP in the 1997 championship series and was twice named in the All NBL First Team (1999 and 2002).

Since retiring as a player, Copeland has built up an already impressive CV as a coach, having served as Phil Smyth’s assistant at the ACB Academy, head coach of the Hume City Broncos Men’s Championship and head coach of the Haileybury College Men’s Team which won the Victorian High School championship in 2014.

Vickerman describes himself as a disciplined and determined person who sets himself the highest professional standards while Copeland is living proof that after the setback of being cut from a high school team that one can go on to achieve greatness as a player and then as a coach.

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