Dickel back in Vegas, looking for next job

Back in Las Vegas and deciding on his next move.

Mark Dickel.
Mark Dickel.
Former Otago basketball player and coach Mark Dickel has returned to the United States, having left the Philippines after three years.

Dickel (44) said he had enjoyed his time coaching both the country’s national team and in its professional league.

But as Covid-19 hit and he spent months in lockdown alone without his family, it became difficult.

He has returned to the city where he carved out an impressive college career at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and has spent plenty of time there since.

Dickel, who is arguably New Zealand’s greatest ever point guard, recently had back surgery.

His passion was now fully with coaching and it was there he was looking for his next role.

"I’m interviewing all the time for [college coaching] jobs currently," he said.

"Just waiting to see what happens and which one fits and which area of the country; just trying to keep my options open and just being patient, trying to pick whichever one is the best one — that’s the mentality.

"The college thing is over the next couple of months and then NBA opportunities come right after that.

"I’m just trying to be patient and evaluate which one is the best opportunity."

Dickel finished his playing career in 2014, the end of a three-year stint with the Otago Nuggets.

It was also during that stint that coaching became a major focus.

He was also Basketball Otago’s director of development while in Dunedin, a period in which Otago achieved highly in junior grades.

He had been thrilled to see the Nuggets back on court and added it was great to see many of those he had coached as teenagers in that team.

"It wasn’t just me. Everybody down there saw how talented those kids were.

"All I did was try to help them improve quicker so they get to where they’re going to get to younger.

"I was well aware that Sam [Timmins] and Josh [Aitcheson] and Richie [Rodger] and Darcy [Knox] and others were going to be really good players.

"All they had to do was stay motivated and keep doing the work and not get discouraged.

"They’re going to end up being really good players.

"They are good players.

"I’m going to be really interested over the next couple of years to see how good they get."

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