Coach earns bronze

File photo by Rosalie Eid
File photo by Rosalie Eid

Peter Campbell is not used to being on the sidelines when there’s a basketball game going on.

So when the head coach of Wilfrid Laurier University’s men’s basketball team was offered a mentoring role with the Canadian cadet team for the FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay, it was hard for him to stay off the court.

“I probably overstepped my bounds early, [but] nobody seemed to be offended by it,” Campbell laughed after he returned from Uruguay.

“I went into training camp, and of course, being a coach, once we were on the floor I got a little more involved than I should have in practices, trying to help the kids and talking to the [coaches] … trying to see if I could help them be an even better team.”

Canada finished third overall in the tournament after winning their pool 3-0 and defeating Puerto Rico in the bronze medal game.

By winning their pool, Canada automatically qualified for the World Championships — their main goal going into the tournament, according to Campbell.

Campbell’s role with the team was to act as a mentor for the coaching staff — comprised of three other Canadian Interuniversity Sport coaches, including McGill’s Dave DeAveiro, Alberta’s Barnaby Craddock and Queen’s Stephan Barrie — and the players.

He helped the team during training camp and practices, and then sat in the stands during games, taking stats and observing the play of both teams.

“If there was something in particular [the coaches] wanted [stats of], I would do it for them, but otherwise I did my own thing so I could have some feedback for them,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s position with the cadet team joins his resume along with positions such as being an assistant with the women’s national team for four years, serving as both an assistant and head coach with multiple World University Games teams and under 19 programs, as well as being an assistant at the last Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia.

While being a “resource” was a new job title for Campbell, he said he enjoyed being able to watch and take notes.

“It was a great experience for me because I was watching somebody else coach, who is a good coach at our level,” he said.

“Dave does things different than I do in certain areas, so it was a good learning experience to watch him be the headman.”

Campbell also mentioned the growing success of the Canadian basketball program. In the last few years, the program has sent more teams to national qualifiers with growing success.

Later this month, the Canadian national team will head to Russia for the FISU Summer Universiade Games.

“I think, from everybody’s perspective, it was a good accomplishment. Canada will be happy because we qualified for another round.”

“This is the beginning of a new era,” he said. “They just changed the national program on the men’s side. We’re going back to something we had earlier.”

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