NBL: Taylor takes the helm for Thunder

Worthing Thunder have announced former player Zaire Taylor as their new head coach.

Taylor made the decision during the 2021/22 season to announce his retirement after an incredible 11-year playing career, however he couldn’t walk away entirely due to his tremendous passion for the game. He'll now call the shots for the D1 side, replacing Julian Stanley.​

Whilst playing for the Leicester Riders in the 2012/13, Taylor began his coaching career with Loughborough College, and he also assisted Nigel Lloyd at London Lions in the BBL during 2016/17.

Since joining Worthing Thunder in 2017/18, the 35-year-old has coached at BHASVIC College in the ABL and the AOC and is head coach of Thunder's junior programme where he has rebuilt the set-up to the volume of teams they currently boast.

Taylor coaches various different age groups as needed but the highlight was undoubtedly with last season's U14 boys team, leading them to an undefeated 14-0 season and top spot in the South 3 conference.

Zaire Taylor in action before his retirement (Luke Simcock)

Zaire Taylor said:

“I never shy from new challenges and look forward to taking this one head on.

"As confident as I am in my knowledge and abilities, obviously being a first-year head coach for the men's team I’m sure there will be a learning curve and need to adapt to the level of play from the side line. I’m confident that the coaching staff we are working to put together as well as the high level of talent we are putting on the floor will be able to help me through any difficulties I may face.

"If I’m being honest I think I’m capable of doing a great job in this new role, and that’s not so much based upon my abilities but from the privilege of learning and being coached by some of the greatest basketball minds my whole life. It started from my childhood being raised in a basketball family, having some of my uncles like Gerry Mosley, Donald McCombs, that have made names in their own right. Being coached by an NCAA Coach of the Year, Mike Anderson, and an NBA champion, Wes Mathews, as well as the coaches I’ve had in England who are definitely some of the best in the country like Rob Paternostro, Vince Macaulay, Paul James, and Nigel Lloyd.

"I just hope the Thunder community is as excited for this upcoming season as I am as we will bringing a championship home”

Main image credit - Graham Hodges