- National Teams
Chris Bunten and Rachael Vanderwal will serve as Assistant Coaches alongside Senior Women’s play-caller Jose Maria Buceta when GB U20 Women take to the floor in Podgorica at the U20 European Championship Women Division B this summer.
Bunten will provide continuation on and off the floor, having fulfilled the same position last year when the competition was also held in Montenegro.
Meanwhile Olympian Vanderwal was part of the Senior Women’s team who recently completed a pulsating comeback against Montenegro to ignite hopes of qualification for a fourth consecutive EuroBasket Women Final Round.
Looking forward to working alongside ‘Chema’ Buceta who will hold the U20 reins for the first time, Bunten is already counting down the days until the start of camp.
“It was a great honour to be asked to assist again and last year was a fantastic experience, with a lot of learning curves,” revealed Bunten, whose Team Northumbria side are challenging for WBBL (Women’s British Basketball League) honours.
“After speaking with Chema [Buceta], I am very excited to be able to work with and to learn from him.
“Being around the Senior Women’s camp recently, it was evident to see the positive environment he creates and one in which empowers his players to perform to the best of their abilities.
“I think this U20 campaign will be very interesting and we have the potential to well. The format has changed and we have to win at least on game to qualify from our group against Lithuania and Israel, so the scouting and prep starts now to make sure we are in the best possible position to be successful.
“I am also looking forward to spending some time and working with Rachael [Vanderwal] who is such a great role model for any young British player.
“She knows the meaning of hard work and has played at the highest level.
“With this type of invaluable experience, she will really be able relate to the players through training camp and tournament play.”
Vanderwal follows in the footsteps of her fellow Olympian and backcourt partner Stef Collins, who will coach with Basketball England this summer.
And, the shooting guard is looking forward to gaining coaching experience and inspiring the next generation of GB Senior players.
“I’m really excited about working with the U20’s this summer and it’s a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Vanderwal.
“I can’t wait to be able to share my experiences, knowledge and skills that I have learned while playing professionally and internationally with these young players.
“It will also be a great learning opportunity for myself under the guidance of ‘Chema’.
“Playing for GB and putting on that jersey is the best feeling in the world, and now being able to be on the sideline will be a new and very exciting challenge – it’s one that I am extremely thankful to be a part of.”
Finally, Coach Buceta added, “To have Rachael and Chris on board is a big positive as they bring different things to the table.
“As a coaching team, along with our other staff, we are hopeful we can make an impact.
“Rachael has great experiences on the court at a very high level which the players will benefit from and Chris has come through the pathway,so knows this tournament well and is showing his desire to learn and develop as a coach every week in the WBBL.
“We are all looking forward to the challenge that will come our way.”
Current Senior Women’s Team Manager, Bev Kettlety will fulfil the same role with the U20’s and Darren Finnegan will return for a third year in the role of Physiotherapist.
The U20 European Championship Women Division B will take place between 09 and 17 of July. More information can be found HERE.