Nick Nurse

Name...... Nick Nurse
Number... n/a
Position... Head Coach
Height..... n/a
Weight.... n/a
Born........ 24/7/67, Iowa
Clubs......... Brighton Bears (2001-)
London Towers (2000-01)
Manchester Giants (1998-2000)
Birmingham Bullets (1995-97)
University South Dakota (1993-95)
Grand View College, Des Moines (1991-93) (NAIA I)
Derby (1990-91) player/coach
UNI (1989-90) Graduate Assistant Coach
UNI (1985-89) Player
Debut......... 16/9/90 for Derby vs London
Education... University of Northern Iowa
Honours...... Championship Winner 1999-2000
Championship Winner 1995-96
Trophy Winner 1998-99
Northern Conference Winner 1999-2000
Southern Conference Winner 2000-2001
League Runner Up 1998-99
Trophy Runner Up 1999-2000
Cup Runner Up 1999-2000
All Star Game 2002, 2000, 1999,1997, 1996 goes 1On1 with Nick Nurse caught up with new Head Coach Nick Nurse in September 2001. Here's what he had to say about his move to the South Coast and his plans for the upcoming season.

Welcome to Brighton Nick! How are you settling in?

Thank you. I am settling in just fine. I have enjoyed the Brighton summer time and the seaside immensely. It is truly and fantastic city!
You have a great track record with some of the "larger" clubs in the country, and some people have questioned why you would be move to Brighton? Can you explain what attraced you to the Bears?

Again, thank you. I really have been at all different type of clubs in the country. Some smaller, some bigger, some with big budgets and some with small ones. I think other than the Towers, all clubs with a history of losing. Hey, that is why coaching changes are USUALLY made.

What attracted me to Brighton were a number of things. First of all, Romek Kriwald, he was ambitious enough to "come after" me so to speak and put an interesting enough proposal together for me to consider. He was very creative and clear in terms of what he was offering me. We got on quite well from day one. He sparked my interest enough for me to come to Brighton and stay for a few days while we worked out a few details.

I looked at the Brighton Centre and saw the huge potential there. In fact I feel it is the best facility for basketball in this country. Mainly, because it very nice and it is just the right size. Also, it is important to note the capabilities for television coverage and corporate hospitality there second to none. I also checked out the training facilities at the University of Sussex and the Brighton Health and Racquet Club and found them to be the best of any team I have coached in the league.

I started putting two and two together and kept coming up with four. I agreed terms with Romek and here we are going full steam ahead.

What style of basketball can we expect to see the Bears playing this year?

Similar style to all my other teams I suspect. Although we will have to see how the roster ends up shaking down, I believe in attacking basketball starting from the defensive end. This always is the start of attacking style at the offensive end. We should rebound the ball very well as my teams have led the league in rebounding four consecutive years.

We should play extrememly hard and be really fun to watch in the context of playing the game the right way, unselfishly with determination and dedication.
What are your ambitions for the season?

My ambitions for the season are really two-fold: Double the amount of wins from a year ago and double the number in attendance at our games. We would also like to make some sort of run at one of the cups and shoot for a play-off position
Which BBL teams do you see as the greatest threats this year?

ALL OF THEM!! I think at this time of year everyone feels that they are putting together a play-off calibre team.

If you look at our conference in the South, you have the Towers of course; the Leopards re-signed the majority of a 24-win team. Milton Keynes re-signed virtually their whole team that went to the play-offs. And Thames Valley missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time and have always enjoyed a lot of success. SO, if we are going to make it, you are going to have to have 2 teams who are going to fall extremely short of expectations and be very unhappy. I think the South will be a very difficult proposition.

In the North, you start with Sheffield as always. Chris Finch has proven himself year in and year out although he is doing it without Terrell Myers for the first time and a few others of a team that won 27 games a year ago. Next, after that in the North it appears to be a crap shoot with good teams with good coaches such as Billy Mimms at Leicester, Robbie Peers at Chester, and Tony Garbaletto at Newcastle all returning some of their team but also losing very key players. Chester have lost Player of the Year Loren Meyer, Leicester have lost Championship MVP, Larry Johnson, and Newcastle, perennial all-star Tony Windless and also Donnie Johnson. New coaches take over at Manchester and Derby so they will be surprise packages and Kevin Wall will have a better year this year, as will the Rocks. There is always one team that nobody expects who is a surprise, let's hope that it is the BEARS!
What are your longer term ambitions for the Bears?

I have a lot of longer-term ambitions for the Bears but I will keep most of those cards close to my chest. However, I do want to get this team into a European competition as soon as possible. The NEBL would be a great place for us. Our location close to the London airports combined with our arena make us the best suited for European competition of any team in the League. (Believe me from last year, it is a long way from Crystal Palace to Gatwick and especially Heathrow).

Other longer-term ambitions include running high quality summer camps and coaching clinics. I think we will take on a huge responsibility of basketball development on the South Coast. I think we need to teach kids the game and give them more opportunities to play on a more frequent basis. Also, we or I need to teach coaches how to coach - something that is sorely lacking in this country.

I hope to increase our awareness around Brighton and the South Coast, I hope to get more corporations involved and interested in supporting our team and their community and I hope for more television coverage in the very near future for the Bears. I hope for a hundred more things but you get the idea I think.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has welcomed me. I hope to give you a team that you will be proud to support. I know we have great fans down here and I cannot wait to see those numbers grow and the enthusiasm grow with a more successful team. Let's get behind the Bears and spread the word.


Nick Nurse

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Nick!