Why I Coach #3

Why I Coach #3

We see them working the sidelines on a Friday night and putting in the hours to develop our junior Dragons, but what inspires our coaches to do what they do?

We’ve put that question to them and the responses are rolling in. In this, the third instalment of our Why I Coach series, we caught up with Conor Mathews, Head Coach of the Dragons 14.1 Boys (top row, third from left). This is his story:

“I coach for a few reasons.

I coach for my younger self – what would I have benefited from when I was 12? 16? 21? If I can share even just a little of my knowledge to people who are walking the same path as a player as I once did, great.

“I coach for the “chess match”. I love the mental battle of strategies and schemes against opposition teams.

“I coach to help players use basketball as a teaching tool for school, work, relationships, etc.

“I coach to win.”

• Conor Mathews is head coach of Camberwell Dragons 14.1 Boys and assistant coach of our Big V Youth League Men’s team. He’ll lead our 14.1 Boys at the National Junior Classic in Melbourne this weekend.

OTL: Steve Lunardon

Camberwell Basketball is pleased to announce the details for the fifth instalment in its Outside the Lines program.

Camberwell Basketball Communications Manager Andrew Johnstone will be joined by Camberwell Dragons Boys Director of Coaching Steve Lunardon at the CDBA office, Kew, on Thursday, June 20 (6.30pm-8pm) for this special OTL session on all things Coaching.

This session will explore Steve’s own basketball journey, which included stops in the National Basketball League as a player under coaching legends Brian Goorjian Lindsay Gaze and Barry Barnes, senior administrative roles at Association level and his current coaching work, including his duties as DOC of the Under 12, 14 and 16 Boys programs at the Dragons.

We’ll talk about the influences on his career, the attributes and traits of a successful coach, his own coaching philosophies, what he gets out of coaching (why he does it), his role at Camberwell, tips on working with athletes, share thoughts on how to break into the industry, coaching opportunities in basketball, and discuss hurdles a young coach may have to clear on their own coaching journey.

This session will be of interest to anyone currently working as a coach, thinking about making the leap into coaching, considering a career as a professional coach, and/or wanting to learn more about the realities of being a coach at all levels.

It will not be about Xs and Os, but rather a free-flowing conversation about all things Coaching. Participants will be invited – and encouraged – to ask questions throughout.

This session is free for CDBA members aged 15 and over – including players, coaches, referees, administrators and their families – and members of affiliated clubs and associations.

Places are limited, so please email Andrew Johnstone at [email protected] by Thursday, June 13 to secure your position.



Why I Coach #2

We see them working the sidelines on Friday nights and developing our junior Dragons, but what inspires our coaches to do what they do?

We put that question to them and the responses are rolling in. In this, the second instalment of our Why I Coach series, we caught up with Ryleh Killian, Head Coach of the Dragons 12.2 Girls. This is her story:

“I started coaching over 10 years ago and found it so rewarding watching kids go from not being able to touch the ring when shooting to scoring their first ever goal.

“Now I coach because I love watching the girls develop not just as players but more importantly as people, which in coaching is something I hope to make a positive impact on.

“I also love coaching because of the connection I have developed with all the girls I’ve ever coached and that regardless if they are double bottom-age 12s or now u16s, they are always happy to come and have a chat and share updates about their life.”

• Ryleh Killian coaches our 12.2 Girls and plays for the Dragons Youth League Women’s team.

The third instalment of our Why I Coach series is not far away.


Why I Coach #1

We see them working the sidelines on Friday nights and taking care of business and their players on the practice court, but what is it that inspires our coaches to do what they do?

We put that question to our Camberwell Dragons coaches and the responses are rolling in fast. Some of the answers are longer and more detailed than others, but all of them to date have at least two things in common: the love of the game and a passion to help our young athletes be the best they can be.

In this, the first instalment of our Why I Coach series, we caught up with Chris Allison, Co-Coach of the Camberwell Dragons 14.4 Boys. Chris (left of photo) also plays for the Dragons Youth League Men’s team. This is his story:

“I coach because basketball is all I’ve ever known. I played as a double bottom age player in Under-12s all the way through to winning Classic and the VC Championship in my Under-18s year.

“I love the travels with Co-Coach Mitch (Bacon), I love the thrill of winning, I love the different personalities of the players, I love the strategy of the game.

“I love the sense of community within Camberwell. I love seeing the improvement from the start to the end of the season step by step, little by little getting better every training.

“Coaching is something I want to do for the rest of my life. Potentially even trying to coach professionally. For me it’s not about the destination, but more enjoying the journey along the way!”

Look out for the second instalment of our Why I Coach series here and on our social media platforms later in the week.

• Do you have a story or stories – ones we can publish, of course! – about one or more of your favourite coaches along the way? Send them to us at [email protected] and we’ll share them with the Camberwell Basketball community here and/or on our social media platforms. Bonus points if you’ve got a photo we can run with it!

Learn from Dragons

Camberwell Dragons coaches are ready to help you change your game over the July School Holidays.

For more information on our Holiday Camp schedule and/or to register, please click HERE.

Coming up in July:

July 1-2
Rep Winter Central Camp for boys and girls born 2011-2015. 9.30am-3pm at Camberwell Grammar School

July 5
Domestic Development Camp for boys and girls born 2010-2016. 9.30am-3pm at Kew High School

July 8
Under 12 Rep Development Camp for boys and girls born 2013-2015. 9.30am-3pm at Kew High School

July 9
Development Squad – Future Stars Camp for boys and girls born 2013-2016. 9.30am-3pm at Kew High School

July 10
Under 14 and bottom-age Under 16 Rep Camp for boys and girls born 2010-2012. 9.30am-3pm at Kew High School

July 11
Domestic Shooting and Defence Camp for Boys and Girls born 2010-16. 9.30am-3pm at Kew High School

July 12
Girls Representative Camp for girls born 2009-2012 and playing representative basketball. 9.30am-12pm at Kew High School

July 12
Boys Under 16 and Under 18 Representative Scrimmage Camp for born born 2007-2010 and playing representative basketball. 12.30pm-2.30pm at Kew High School

For more information, contact: [email protected]

We mean business

Following its successful launch and information night on May 16, Camberwell In Business has set the date for its second event of 2024.

To find out more about how we’re working to connect the Camberwell business community and/or to join us at our exclusive luncheon from 12.30pm on Thursday, August 1, please contact Andrew Johnstone at [email protected]

Full event details will be released next week.

Camberwell In Business is a community where businesses can network, collaborate and thrive.

To learn more about how we’re working to connect the Camberwell Basketball business community, please click on the link in our Bio to view our updated E-Booklet.

Thank you to our Foundation 5 and inaugural members – Kickon Group, M&S Transport, Judo Bank and Gadens – for their tremendous support of this initiative and we look forward to building strong and rewarding relationships with our members over the coming weeks and months.

To become a Camberwell In Business member, to find out more about what we have to offer and/or to receive regular updates about CIB events and opportunities, please contact [email protected]

Be Collaborative. Be Curious. Be Camberwell.

Classic Camberwell

A shoutout today to our 14.1 Boys – one of three Camberwell Dragons teams invited to compete at the prestigious National Junior Classic in Melbourne over the King’s Birthday Weekend.

The boys, led by head coach Conor Mathews, secured their invitation to the showcase event after building an impressive 7-2 record through the first half of the Victorian Championship season to finish second in their conference.

This group will be one of 16 Under 14 Boys teams in action at the Classic, featuring in a deep and high-quality field that will include some of the most exciting young talent in Australian basketball – including rep teams from New South Wales, South Australia, ACT and Vic Country.

The 14.1 Boys will be one of a record-tying three Dragons teams running the hardwood at the Classic, with our 12.1 Girls and 16.1 Boys also receiving invitations after making strong starts to their respective VC campaigns.

After putting together a sizzling preseason to qualify for VC before Christmas, the 12.1 Girls won seven of their first nine regular season games to assure themselves a berth at the Classic and a place in VC Champ Division for the remainder of the season.

And our 16.1 Boys will become the first Camberwell Under 16 Boys team to compete at the Classic after they, too, hit the halfway mark of the VJBL season with a 7-2 record.

Our three Dragons teams will tip things off at the Classic on June 8.

The National Junior Classic is an annual invitational event that sees Australia’s top junior teams (Under 12, 14, 16 and 18 Boys and Girls) compete for the crown of National Junior Champions.

This year’s Classic will feature the best teams from regional and metropolitan Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

To read more about the 2024 National Junior Classic, click HERE.

Photo: Craig Dingle, Melbourne Sports Photography.

More good times with The Termi

Camberwell Dragons are delighted to announce a new Partnership agreement with The Terminus.

The Termi returns as the Hospitality Partner of the Dragons and as the home court for our pre and post-season team functions and tournament get-togethers.

The Dragons look forward to continuing their association with our great friends at The Terminus for a further two years and thank our members for continuing to support those who support us.

To book your team’s next function at this North Fitzroy institution, contact Lauren at [email protected] tell her the Dragons sent you, and she’ll help you take care of the rest.

For Dragons members and families wanting to make lunch and/or dinner bookings, please email [email protected] or call 03 9481 3182.

For everything you need to know about The Termi, including upcoming events, visit

For more information about the Camberwell Dragons program, contact [email protected]

Dragons Are All In

Camberwell Dragons are all in for Big V Pink Round.

Sam Veitch, Chris “Euro” Elder and Matt Power from our Championship Men’s team tested out our bright pink tees at training this week on the eve of one of the most important rounds on the Big V calendar.

The league is celebrating all things pink this weekend to help raise funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia.

While these guys will do their work on the road this weekend, with a Saturday night date at Shepparton, our club is also supporting Pink Round much closer to home.

We’ll have a bucket for donations to the Breast Cancer Network of Australia at Saturday night’s Youth League Women’s game between our Dragons and Wyndham at Boroondara Sports Complex, and at Balwyn High School on Sunday for the double-header featuring our Youth League Men and Championship Women. Both teams are playing Bulleen.

Please get behind the Dragons and give what you can to join the fight against a disease that affects so many Australian families.

And by the way, if you’re at one of our Big V games over the weekend, you’re welcome to dress like Sam, Euro and Matt, too! And remember to send the photos our way.

Thanks for your support, Camberwell.