STANDING TALL: Rookie state league men's basketball coach Chris Clarkson believes Ipswich can shoot high.
STANDING TALL: Rookie state league men's basketball coach Chris Clarkson believes Ipswich can shoot high. Rob Williams/ Queensland Times

Force appoints basketball coach

NEWLY-appointed Ipswich Force men's basketball coach Chris Clarkson is one of those people who makes an instant impression.

He stands tall, speaks well, loves his game and has plenty of playing experience.

But perhaps most importantly, he sounds like he's in control.

After the Force men battled for wins the past two Queensland Basketball League (QBL) seasons, Clarkson could be the steadying influence the Ipswich side needs.

“I've got some ideas in place already to help the team,” the former Ipswich shooting forward said, having this week been appointed to take over.

“They (the Force men) had some talented players last year but they just weren't working as a team.

“I was probably a little bit disappointed about their work ethic on defence. That might be a teamwork thing as well.

“And I'm not sure about the fitness levels that they had.

“I believe it's 50% skill and 50% desire. I hope I can build the desire.”

Clarkson played for the Ipswich Eagles from 1992-96 and was a captain/assistant coach in 1998 before the club changed its name to the Force.

The Redbank Plains State High School science teacher had stints with the Brisbane Brewers (1988-91) and was in the 1990 Brisbane Bullets squad before having a break from the game due to work commitments.

In recent years, he's spent more time coaching, working with a University side and retaining a strong interest in Ipswich as an under-18 girls and under-16 boys mentor.

“I just believe the (Force) program has so much to offer and I would like to see the program continue to grow,” Clarkson, 42, said.

“Ipswich basketball hasn't had a couple of great seasons.

“I thought maybe it was time to try and give something back to the program that I really enjoyed being a part of for a long time.”

In his first state league head coaching role, Clarkson hopes to impart his knowledge on to the 2010 team, which starts pre-season training on November 22.

“It (coaching) is always something I thought I could bring something to,” Karalee-based Clarkson said.

“I like to pursue it and see where I go with it.

“I've always considered myself a bit of an analyst of the game.

“I like to look at tapes, I like to look at stats, I like to look at performance and see where we're strong and where we're not. And see if I can improve that.

“My challenge, as a rookie coach at this level, is how I transfer what I used to do on the court as a player to leadership.”

Meet Chris Clarkson Occupation: Science teacher. Married to: Nicolee (1993). Children Patriona and Mitchell. Favourite food: Steak and vegetables. Best CD in collection: Best of Bruce Springsteen. Worst CD in collection: Can't say ABBA because my wife has it in her collection. Hobbies: Golf, family. Three people like to meet: Basketball great and “ultimate sportsman” Michael Jordan, the influential Gandhi and former US president Bill Clinton. Favourite sports team : Brisbane Broncos -“every year they don't make the finals, it kills me.”

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