Blackburn Vikings


Reesy Reaches 500

If you’ve been around the Big V long enough, chances are you’ve either played for Glenn Rees, or you have played in a team against him. He has been part of the Big V since 1994 in either a Coaching or Assistant Coaching capacity. This Sunday, ‘Reesy’ takes part in his 500th Big V Game, as our Division 1 Men take on the Warrandyte Venom. Rees rejoined Blackburn as an Assistant Coach with our Division 1 Men in 2015. He has been a major factor the Vikes have had two very successful seasons, winning their past 28 regular season games and coming agonisingly close to a Grand Final in 2016. Rees was named an inaugural life Member of the Blackburn Vikings in 2016. We caught up with him ahead of the milestone.

Blackburn Vikings: Thanks for joining us Glenn. Congratulations on reaching 500 games, how does this milestone stack up?
Glenn Rees: It just makes me feel old, especially when the current crop of players were not alive when I started!

BV: So what have been some of the highlights in your career?
GR: The Biggest high light is winning the 2007 championship, it was a long time coming. After 3 previous grand final appearances it was great to achieve that goal with a good bunch of guys.
Coming back to Blackburn after being away for 10 years, it did really fell like I was coming home.
The last would be just being around the team and meeting a whole lot of awesome guys.

BV: When did you first start at Blackburn?
GR: I Started playing back in the first year so 25 years ago. I started coaching as an assistant with the women's program back in 1994. I moved to the men's program in 1996. In 1997 the club started a development team and I coached that team until 2004 until the club went though a restructure. I moved to Hawthorn Magic where I coached for 10 years. I really loved my time at Hawthorn and coached some really great players. I have been back at Blackburn for 3 years.

BV: You have been in the league a long time, what have been the major changes in that time?
GR: The growth has been huge, so many teams. When I first started you could only get into the league by invitation, basketball has grown since then so smaller clubs are now applying and growing the league. Unfortunately we have lost some country teams over the years, road trips are always fun and it allows the team to bond.

BV: You spent 10 years at Hawthorn, reached the finals a number of times and won it all in 2007, how was your time there?
GR: Hawthorn was great to me, they have me an opportunity to grow as a coach and build a program that I was proud of. Gary McDonald did a great job as president and general ‘do it all guy’.

BV: What made you come back to Blackburn?
GR: Unfortunately Hawthorn had a change of management and they wanted to go in a different direction to the one the team and I were on, so I was not reappointed. I did think that was basketball done for me until I got a message from Paul Lankford to come down and have a look at a practice session. I always had the fairy tale thought of finishing at Blackburn, so I guess it was fate.

BV: What do you enjoy most about the club?
GR: The people, coaching can sometimes be lonely, so having fun people to be around make the down time seem better. We all do this for fun, so you may as well enjoy it.

BV: If you could offer any advice for young players what would it be?
GR: At this level no one gives you anything, you must go and take it. If you are not getting court time don't blame others, work hard and make the coach put you on.
For junior players I would say never stop trying, you are only one effort away from improving, I have read this several times on social media;
10 things that take zero talent

  1. Being on time
  2. Work ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being coachable
  9. Doing extra
  10. Be prepared

There is a lot of truth in this, you create you own path, don't think it will be easy but if you do these things it will be fun and rewarding.

BV: Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
GR: After 500 games this list is long, the main people would be:

  • Jay Allen for being a great person to coach and the need for also having an unrelentingly will to win.
  • The whole 2007 championship team, we will always be brothers.
  • Andrew Nightingale for taking my coaching to the next level. I love the 10 in 2.
  • Gary McDonald we created a great thing together.
  • Lastly would be Melissa I appreciate the support she has given me over such a long time.

BV: Congratulations on an outstanding achievement and all the best for Sunday's game against Warrandyte.

The Division 1 Men play in a feature game at Knox Basketball Stadium at 3.00pm this Sunday, May 14 against Warrandyte Venom. The Youth League Men will play at 1.00pm against the Knox Raiders. Tickets are available at the door and are just $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Blackburn juniors in their uniform are admitted free.

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