COACH SPOTLIGHT - James Hussein, Sevenoaks Suns II

For this week's NBL takeover, the Sevenoaks Suns II will be taking over the NBL Instagram stories on Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 March. 

We caught up with Suns Coach, James Hussein ahead of their takeover weekend, in this week's Coach Spotlight



Name: James Hussein

Team: Sevenoaks Suns II


What brought you into coaching?

The love for the game and the want to always be involved in it.


What were your original thoughts when you moved into coaching? 

Although I still class myself as a young coach, I started coaching 14 years ago now! So, my original thoughts back then were probably ‘I am the best thing since sliced bread’ as I walked in as a head coach for an U12 session. In hindsight, I knew a little bit about basketball and absolutely  NOTHING about coaching.  


What did you find most interesting to learn as a coach?

Everything about the game and coaching. There is too much to learn to pinpoint one particular topic area. I am a big believer in the saying ‘You don’t know, what you don’t know’. However, I do know that I don’t know everything, so there is always something new to learn as a coach.  And I find that concept alone enough to motivate me to always learn something new about coaching every day.


What was the most rewarding part of your coaching journey so far?

Personal accolades and being a part of teams who have been successful on a performance level and won silverware is always rewarding, especially in the short-term. However, knowing that I have played a small part in helping someone get to where they are today, (on or off the court) through basketball has a much longer lasting feeling.


What parts of coaching do you like the most?

That’s a tough one! I set a goal last season that I wanted to develop my ability to scout opponents using such software as synergy and improve my tactical understanding of the game. I have really enjoyed scouting opponents and like to have ideas about how we can tactically adjust to opponents’ adjustments. But what I have spent the majority of my coaching journey on so far and what I do still enjoy the most, is learning the technical nuances of the fundamentals and the best methods to transfer that knowledge to the players. I do strongly believe that X&O’s are only ever as effective as the ability for your players to execute the fundamentals.


Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

I am currently with the Sevenoaks Suns on the Women’s side of the programme. Between Len Busch and I we coach the U16’s & Division 1 team and for the second year now I am the assistant coach to the WBBL team. I like to think through my current obsessiveness with wanting to be good at scouting and wanting to know everything about an opponent along with my previous experience, I can add my 1% to what has been a very successful programme way before I arrived.


What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

Within both the game and practice you have to be able to adapt and make changes on the spot. So, I would say my coaching is niche is my flexibility. I like to think I am pretty good at adapting to something on the spot.


What is your coaching vision for the next two years

To be better than what I am now. I think now, that I knew nothing when I first started coaching. My long-term aim is improve to a point where I can say ‘I didn’t know anything now either’. 


What is your favourite coaching question from athletes?

“Why?” And “What about this……?"


What advice do you have for those coaches currently in training?

Try to learn at least 1 thing new about coaching each day. 


What legacy would you like to leave behind you?

I was always able to add value where ever I was


You can follow James's progress this weekend as Sevenoaks Suns II takeover the NBL Instagram stories!