We sat down for some Q & A with newly named Windy City Bulls Head Coach, Damian Cotter, to get to know a little more about the man who will be leading the team into a new G League era.
Q: Damian, thanks so much for sitting down to talk with us today as we welcome you to Bulls organization, and specifically the Windy City Bulls. To start us off, where did you grow up, and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?
A: I appreciate that. I’m thrilled to be a part of the organization! I’m originally from the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. It was a great area for a kid to grow up with lots of opportunities to play different sports. Also we lived right next to a National Park, so I had plenty of access to nature and wildlife.
Q: Tell us about your career path in basketball, and what attracted you to coaching?
A: I actually really fell into coaching. I was a very average player with high ambitions. Towards the end of high school I had a lot of injuries. So realistically if I wanted to stay involved in the game, coaching was the way to do that, and there was no way I was going to a referee.
Q: What is your favorite memory of playing the game?
A: My favorite memory was my first time being involved with the Australian national program. We played Lithuania in France in a lead-up game to the World Championships. For me, representing your country is the highest honor.
Q: What players inspired you as you learned the game (both American and Australian)?
A: As a youth we didn’t get much access to the NBA apart from the Lakers and Celtics. So like many other Australians, I loved Magic and Bird. I did have many local heroes. It was really cool at our local [Windy City Bulls] try-out to have one of my favorite players growing up, Bennie Lewis, give us a hand for the day.
Q: What are the biggest differences in the game in Australia vs. the U.S.?
A: The most obvious difference between Oz and the US is the athleticism here. The style of play is different also, with Australians playing a more systematic offensive style, and very hard-nosed defensively.
Q: What is your favorite NBA memory growing up?
A: As I mentioned we didn’t get the games live, but I have fond memories of being huddled around the TV on Saturdays, watching the Game of the Week with family and friends. When Jordan came on the scene, the NBA exploded in Australia. That enabled us to watch more.
Q: Who are your favorite musical artists/bands?
A: I love my music, and listen to many styles. But I have a preference for hard rock. Most Aussies of my vintage love AC/DC. I’m listening to Alter Bridge and Volbeat at the moment.
Q: What are your favorite types of food?
A: Japanese and Mexican are my favorite, but I do love an Aussie barbie on a hot summers day.
Q: What are your hobbies away from basketball?
A: I’ve started playing guitar again, and I love hiking. But my favorite hobby is still watching basketball, especially FIBA and Euroleague.
Q: How often have you been to Chicago area before? And how do you like the Windy City so far?
A: Over the years I’ve visited Chicago many times, and have always loved how clean it is and how friendly the people are. My impression hasn’t changed, and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season.