AN INTERVIEW WITH LEICESTER RIDERS COACH ROB PATERNOSTRO
Rob Paternostro is without doubt Leicester Rider’s and the BBL’s most successful coach ever, winning six BBL Coach of the Year awards in his tenure.
Paternostro, a Connecticut native had an illustrious high school and college career before making the move to come and play predominately in England and Europe. Rob joined the Riders in 2008 as head coach and with immediate effect improved the club’s image and fortune and has gone on to win every trophy and accolade in Britain’s top league.
With the BBL currently on hold due to the current circumstances we spoke with Rob to find out his favourite moments of his career and what coachable attributes he likes in players.
What is your favourite moment in your career?
Had to be the first trophy we ever won in 2013. The cup final vs Newcastle in Birmingham. It was an amazing day for all of us at the club and to beat a good team like Newcastle made it even better. It was also special because I shared that experience with my son Lucas, there is a great photo of me picking him up and lifting him in the air, it still gives me goose bumps to look at it.
Your favourite memory as a rider?
I think threepeating the playoffs is the up there as well, we won in 2017-18-19 and to be able to win 3 years in a row at a venue like the 02 was amazing and will give us memories to last a lifetime
What are your favourite traits in players when you are coaching them?
Intelligence, Versatility, and great conditioning. Guys that can read the game on both ends of the floor are the guys you want on the floor in the big moments. Having versatile players allows us to play in a lot of different ways and with many different line-ups. Having great conditioning allows players to play harder for longer on both ends for the floor, it’s as simple as that. Our best teams have been the best conditioned.
The best player you have ever played with during your career?
Thurl Bailey, I was with him in Italy for a little while. He was a national champion for Jim Valvano at NC State in 1983. He had a great 13-year career in the NBA with the Utah Jazz and the Timberwolves, a great player and a great guy who I’ll never forget playing with.
How are you getting ready for the future basketball season with the current state of the UK?
This has given me a great opportunity to watch a ton of film from this year and years past. We have also had the opportunity to learn from so many other coaches who have given clinics etc. We are also evaluating players for next season, I’m optimistic, and hopeful that we can be back on the floor soon.