Coaches honoured to be representing Canada

Advertisement

Advertise with us

Darcy Coss will be knee deep in the “hoop-la” as three-on-three basketball makes its debut at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Darcy Coss will be knee deep in the “hoop-la” as three-on-three basketball makes its debut at the Commonwealth Games next month.

The Winnipegger is on the coaching staff of Canada’s national team, which will compete July 29-Aug. 3 in Birmingham, England.

To call Coss an expert in what’s commonly known as 3×3 basketball would not be overstating things. He’s been immersed in the sport for eight years, first as a player, then as an event organizer with FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and now as a supporting coach.

He said the fast-paced game sparks a rush like no other.

“I just love the discipline so much,” Coss said recently. “It’s like eating a bunch of candy with no negative repercussions.”

“I just love the discipline so much… It’s like eating a bunch of candy with no negative repercussions.” – Darcy Coss

While traditional, five-on-five basketball is a four-quarter marathon, 3×3 is a 10-minute sprint. The team with the most ponts at the end of 10 minutes wins. A team immediately prevails if it hits 21 points before time elapses.

Teams can only make one substitution, and coaching is prohibited during play. Coss and the rest of the staff can assist athletes before and after games but won’t be barking orders from the sidelines.

He’ll run through film and scouting with the Canadian squad — but it’s all on the athletes once they get on the court.

Players must be adept at scoring and defending, he said.

“You can’t just have a guy who stands in the corner. You can’t have a person who can’t defend,” said Coss. “If they can’t, they better be really good at offence.”

SUPPLIED

Basketball coach Darcy Coss said adding 3x3 to the Commonwealth Games opens more eyes and strengthens the legitimacy of the sport.

The sport made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Coss said adding 3×3 to the Commonwealth Games opens more eyes and strengthens the legitimacy of the sport.

He said one of the reasons FIBA got behind 3×3 is because it bridges the gap between powerhouse countries and smaller basketball nations. While some countries simply can’t field a competitive five-on-five team, there’s now an avenue where they can take three to five of their best competitors and transform them into a strong 3×3 outfit.

Wheelchair basketball is also part of the Commonwealth Games, and Joey Johnson of Lorette is coaching the Canadian men’s squad.

His resumé speaks for itself.

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

“Any time you get to represent your country in any capacity, it’s such an honour,” said Joey Johnson, Manitoba Wheelchair Sports Association’s new program coordinator.

A member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2016), Johnson’s career with the national wheelchair basketball program began more than 25 years ago. He played in five Paralympic Games, capturing consecutive gold medals in 2000 and 2004, a silver medal in 2008 and a bronze a decade ago. He also helped Canada win a world championship in 2006.

Johnson, inducted into Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, also has played professionally in Australia and Germany.

This will be his first head-coaching post and he’s absolutely thrilled.

“Any time you get to represent your country in any capacity, it’s such an honour,” he said, late last week. “But I always compete, no matter what the situation is. So, I think the pressure is always the same for me. Go out there, have fun and try and bring home some medals.”

“But I always compete, no matter what the situation is. So, I think the pressure is always the same for me. Go out there, have fun and try and bring home some medals.” – Joey Johnson

Johnson was preparing for “a milk run” from Winnipeg to Birmingham, which included a nine-hour layover in Toronto, but couldn’t envision a more perfect way to celebrate his 47th birthday (Tuesday).

“You do what you gotta do when it’s something of this magnitude,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dana Way of Winnipeg Beach is also part of the Canadian contingent in Birmingham. He’s a bio-mechanist with Athletics Canada.

SUPPLIED

Dana Way of Winnipeg Beach is also part of the Canadian contingent in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. He’s a bio-mechanist with Athletics Canada.

Way’s job is rooted in the scientific and numerical side of sports. He analyzes performance metrics, such as baton-passing efficiency or when an athlete’s foot touched down to calculate how much force is in a jump.

He’s a middle man between athletes and coaches, where the data he comes up with is passed up the ranks and implemented where needed.

“Generally, my kind of motto is that we always kind of go through the coaches,” said Way. “It’s good because if we have a difference of opinion, and what I see or what the data is telling, then we can have a good conversation and kind of construct a plan.”

Way has been with Canada’s athletics program for about 18 years. He’s been to five Olympics and seven world championships but never forgets his roots. He joked that people are getting sick of hearing from him about how proud representing Manitoba makes him.

“We’re considered one of the smaller provinces and we’re not Ontario, or Alberta or B.C. or Quebec, we’re pretty proud of that,” he said. “Anytime you hear someone being named to a team from Manitoba — whether you know them or not, you’re proud to be part of that.”

Coss and Way won’t grab the spotlight at the Games, however, each hope to make an impact for Canada.

“I’m just super, super honoured, I can’t say it any other way,” said Coss. “Regardless, if this is the only time I do it, or if I continue to do it, this moment is special, so I’m just grateful.”

gavin.axelrod@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: Gavin77axe

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Wheelchair basketball is also part of the Commonwealth Games, and Joey Johnson of Lorette is coaching the Canadian men’s squad.

SUPPLIED

3x3 basketball coach Darcy Coss said one of the reasons FIBA got behind 3x3 is because it bridges the gap between powerhouse countries and smaller basketball nations.

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Amateur

LOAD MORE AMATEUR