Former Cheshire Phoenix head coach John Coffino has been heading up a team packed with BBL talent during a tour of China.
The popular American, a hit at the Phoenix during his tenure during the 2014/15 season, was the head coach of a side touring the Asian country that includes a number of stars who ply their trade in the British game.
Leicester Riders guard Conner Washington, London Lions’ Lovell Cook, Sheffield Sharks ace TJ Robinson, Manchester Giants’ British-born guard Sam Attah and EBL player Theo Rothstein were all part of the side.
Coffino’s side played a mammoth 28 games in 30 days during their tour, playing a CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) team, a Lithuanian team and an American select side in each leg of their tour.
The American select side featured a number of former NBA players including ex-Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings guard Orion Greene and former New York Knicks centre Jerome James, a one-time Harlem Globetrotter.
Coffino spent last season as head coach of Georgian Superleague side BC Sukhumi where they finished fourth in the league and were beaten in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
He has since taken up the role as head coach of NBL side Luoyang Golden Stars, an expansion team looking to earn a spot in the CBA. The Golden Stars currently have former NBA D-League guard Joe Jackson, formerly of the Bakersfield Jam, and veteran power forward Josh Powell, who counts NBA sides Atlanta Hawks, LA Clipper, LA Lakers, Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers.
New Yorker Coffino remains a popular figure among Cheshire fans after leading the Nix to fourth in the BBL in 2014/15 and to within a whisker of making the BBL Play-Off final at the O2 Arena, falling narrowly to London Lions in a two-legged semi-final.
His time at Cheshire saw talent such as multiple BBL Player of the Month Award winner Demond Watt, former All American and Duke University recruit Taylor King and ex-NBA D-League ace Dustin Salisbery all don the Nix blue.