German basketball players are currently inspiring the sports world. National coach Gordon Herbert might not have been too well known to the general public beforehand.
Germany’s basketball players are currently causing a sensation at the European Championships in their country and have put a big exclamation mark with a quarter-final victory against title favorites Greece with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. An exclamation mark that has pushed basketball out of the insider bubble and into the general public.
The head coach of the DBB selection, Gordon Herbert, is probably still unknown to many in this general audience.
Herbert gained experience in many countries
Born in Canada, he has long had an excellent reputation in the basketball world. During his long club and national team coaching career, the 63-year-old psychologist has worked in several countries, such as Germany, Canada, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece and Russia, and in the NBA as an assistant coach. In player development for the Toronto Raptors and as an advisor for the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Herbert experienced the longest phase of his life with the Frankfurt Skyliners in Germany in the form of an on-off relationship. With commitments from 2001-2004, 2010-2011 and 2013-2019, the 2-meter-tall man was the coach of Frankfurt, became German champion and European Cup winner with the Skyliners. Gunnar Wöbke, the club’s CEO and shareholder, knows the special qualities of the man everyone calls just “Gordie” like no one else.
“Gordie is a basketball teacher. His great strength – in addition to the individual development of the players – is also the promotion of growing together as a team. On the one hand, the fact that he himself was a high-class basketball player and, for example, on the other hand, his psychological training helps him.”
The DBB team assures, thanks to Herbert as a collective
His ability as a developer is also currently reflected in the enthusiastic performances of the German national team: a lot of talent, but without the really big world star brand Nowitzki, Germany is now convincing as a collective with a clear division of roles, where the roles are clearly divided. defense is the foundation of everything else. The script he also shaped in the Skyliners, in which he once summed up his player profile for Wöbke as follows: “He must be able to defend his opponent, he must control the ball and he must not destroy the attack,” quotes his long-time partner in the memory log.
Herbert spent most of his active playing career in the 80s and 90s in Finland, where he was one of the league’s best players as a small forward. There he got married and had two sons, Mikael and Daniel, who is also part of the DBB selection coaching team. In addition to Canada, Herbert also has Finnish citizenship.
Gordon Herbert: Basketball player who loves hockey
Off the basketball court, Herbert is not a talker. With a quiet voice and thoughtful pauses, he answers reporters’ questions, but is always ready to joke, sometimes philosophizing about his passion for hockey and the extraordinary German player Leon Draisaitl.
The image initially moves to the edge of the field, where Herbert, usually elegantly dressed in a dark suit, watches the game with stoic calmness, while the other coaches have been jumping frantically in the triangle for a long time. But “Gordie” can also be different: If he is unhappy with his team or the referee’s performance, he can become a volcano. With an organ that cannot be heard.
Herbert has not had many reasons to criticize his team. But on the contrary. This team’s extra class is clearly a basketball developer in a fancy suit. Nourished with wisdom and almost 40 years of professional basketball experience. A long career, the biggest highlight of which may be yet to come.
More information about the author Alexander Bonengel
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