“We are excited about the addition of Jussi Laakso to our coaching staff for the Scorers 1st Showcase 2018 in Las Vegas. Having pro coaches from many different countries and leagues work with our teams at the Showcase is something that’s super important to us, as it adds the most value to the players attending and to the agents sending their players in addition to all the teams that are coming through to watch the event.” says Scorers 1st CEO Gerrit Kersten-Thiele.
Jussi Laakso is the Head-Coach of Finland’s Karhubasket Kauhajoki in the top league of Finland (Korisliiga). Jussi and his club are currently competing in the Play-Offs leading the semi-finals series vs. Nokia 1-0 and working towards making it to the final. All the best Jussi!
Q&A with Jussi Laakso – Head-Coach of Karhubasket Kauhajoki:
Q: This is your first time in Las Vegas for the Scorers 1st Showcase and the NBA Summer League – what’s the upside for a coach to see players live at the Scorers 1st Showcase and what are you looking forward to?
A: The importance of interacting with players live is huge. Last summer I interviewed all the players whom I was interested in through video meetings. Now there is a possibility to talk to players face to face. That’s priceless. Also I want to give the players information about playing professionally overseas and hopefully they and I will get also valuable contacts on the way.
Q: What do you look for when you scout potential players for your pro team?
A: Character is everything to me. Exploring players body language in different situations (on & off the court) is important. We want to sign guys who brings positive energy to the table even through tough times. Leadership qualities are also well noted. Especially in our league, import players are most of the time leading players and with that I mean more mentally. Other thing what I find highly important is that players work out hard. I love guys who are “good-professionals” where all good qualities comes in one package.
Q: Do you have any tips for players prior to the Scorers 1st Showcase?
A: Be professional. Come there in great shape and on time. You come to this camp to get exposure for yourself and try to clinch that deal, don´t waste this opportunity. You´ll never know who will be watching. I know this is serious business, but most of the European teams are looking for players who has some idea of playing as a team. I know this is kind of a dilemma – how to show my skills but still at the same time be team-oriented. Believe me, you will get noticed even with smaller stats, if you make your teammates better.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: I´m excited to participate Scorers 1st Showcase as a coach. It would be great to find players for next season but also have good conversations with players and the rest of the staff members. I love to meet new people and socialize with them. Looking forward to get there!
Pictures courtesy of Jussi Laakso.