From Player to Coach: Ing Lau's Journey in Australian Basketball

Ing Lau has gone from professional basketball player to coach, and his Inner West Bulls are ready to challenge the Australian NBL1.

From Player to Coach: Ing Lau's Journey in Australian Basketball
Wade McElwain

Written by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-02-20

Basketball enthusiasts around the world often marvel at the athleticism and strategic prowess displayed in the sport, but behind every successful team is a dedicated coach shaping their path to victory. It also helps if that coach has experience as a player, to give them that extra knowledge and relatability to players, just like Ing Lau-head coach of Australia’s Inner West Bulls of the NBL1. In a recent exclusive interview with Wade McElwain from SportsBoom, head coach Lau explains the uniqueness of the NBL1, American scouting, and returning the NBL1 finals for some unfinished business. 

Preparing for Success: Coaching and Development

Ing Lau's passion for basketball shines through as he discusses his preparations for the upcoming season. He stresses the importance of continuous improvement, stating, "We're probably about halfway through our preseason, and everything is coming along nicely. We're just trying to get better every day and get ready for the season."

Lau's commitment to fostering a winning team spirit is evident in his approach. Reflecting on last year's performance, he notes, "Despite finishing second, we had a disappointing playoff exit. But I was determined to keep the team together and address any gaps in our game-play."

The NBL One league presents unique challenges for coaches and players alike. Lau sheds light on the competitive nature of the league, highlighting the intense one-game knockout playoff format. "It's tough," he admits. "One bad game can end your season, regardless of your standing."

However, Lau remains undeterred, focusing on the lessons learned from past setbacks. "We have unfinished business," he states firmly. "We're hungry to make a deeper run into the playoffs this year and redeem ourselves."

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One bad game can end your season, regardless of your standing.

On the NBL1's '1 game & out' playoff model

The Evolution of Australian Basketball

Australian basketball has undergone significant growth in recent years, and Lau attributes much of this success to grassroots development. "The grassroots basketball scene here is robust," he explains. "We have dedicated coaches and strong junior programs, which have contributed to the rise of Australian talent on the global stage."

Lau also acknowledges the role of leagues like the NBL1 in nurturing talent and providing a pathway for aspiring players. "The league has become increasingly competitive," he notes. "It's a stepping stone for young athletes aiming to reach the professional level."

The Role of Coaching in Nurturing Talent

Transitioning from player to coach has given Lau a unique perspective on the game. He emphasises the importance of effective communication and mentorship in guiding players towards their goals. "As a coach, you need to articulate your vision clearly," he advises. "You're not just teaching skills; you're shaping individuals both on and off the court."

Lau's coaching philosophy centres on teamwork and mutual respect. "I prioritise building a positive team culture," he says. "When players feel valued and supported, they perform at their best."

Ing Lau 1.jpg

Ready for the Challenges

Lau's journey in Australian basketball is a testament to his dedication and love for the game. Having played at a high level himself, he brings a wealth of experience to his coaching role. "I fell in love with coaching," he recalls. "It's a constant learning process, and I'm passionate about helping players reach their full potential."

As Lau gears up for the new season, his commitment to excellence and unwavering belief in his team's abilities continue to inspire both players and fans alike. With his guidance, the Inner West Bulls are poised for another exciting season on the court.

As for coach Lau’s predictions for the Inner West Bulls returning squad this year, he is humble in his estimation: “think we have a shot….I don't want to sort of sound overconfident, I definitely think we are gonna make the playoffs and then…anything can happen.”

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain is our Mr. NFL, a bona fide North American sports nut who knows about NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA plus MMA boxing and more. Originally from Canada, Wade is also an international award-winning stand-up comedian; host of numerous TV game shows; and a TV producer & writer. He also runs NFL in London-the largest NFL fan group in Europe, and has hosted NFL events at Wembley and around the world. Yes, he lives alone and does nothing but watch sports.

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