STEPHEN Black’s successful playing career was cruelly cut short after succumbing to a troublesome lower back injury.
Yet just four months after Black flew the white flag on his playing comeback plans, the former Brisbane Bullets sharp shooter and Australian Boomers guard has labelled himself ready to embark on the next stage of his life.
As expected, Black has followed his famous father’s (Alan) footsteps into the demanding trade of coaching.
At just 29 years of age, Black’s first senior coaching appointment is with the South West Metro Pirates.
The callow coach will take control of the association’s Queensland Basketball League (QBL) men’s team, which sneaked in to last year’s playoffs.
Black believes he is destined to coach and said playing stints under his father and former Bullets mentor Joey Wright, who has both won a National Basketball League (NBL) championship with, has put him on the right path to succeed as a coach.
And Black said he was willing to give every spare minute and ponder tirelessly over the X’s and O’s on the whiteboard to become a winning coach.
“I’ve been fortunate to have been coached by some great coaches,” he said.
“I think I’ve learnt a number of things off my dad.
“Since the day I can remember I have been picking up on some of dad’s coaching philosophies.
“While Joey’s a different type of coach so it’s been a good opportunity for me to pick things (up) from him and mould them together with what I’ve learnt off dad and come up with the type of way I want to coach.”
Black, who played 264 NBL games, inherits a Pirates squad brimming with talent.
Last year’s coach, and now just a player, Jason Cameron, along with Nate Niesler and Troy Thomson have returned for 2010, while former Townsville Crocodiles NBL squad member, Steve Broom joins the Pirates from Ipswich.
Black will also operate with Gold Coast Blaze’s NBL squad as development players, Brendan Teys and Tommy Ammar.
Black, who aspires to coach in the NBL, took the rein for the first time last weekend, putting the team through their paces at an intense two-day camp.
Already the new boss is confident the Pirates will challenge for the QBL title.
“Winning it all is the goal,” he said.
“My only hope is to be competitive in every game we play.
“I know a lot of the guys well, I played with Nate (Niesler) at the Bullets and know Tommy (Ammar) and Troy Thomson so there’s no doubting we have a lot of talented players
“We’ll have a bit more size this year as well with Steve Broom coming on board and if we can get Kieran Bairstow through a pre-season fully fit, we’ll have a nice combination and a lot more size.”