Introducing our Hawthorn Magic Youth Men’s Coach – Marcus Cusinato
Marcus Cusinato just cannot get enough of the Hawthorn Magic brand. He is an absolute stalwart of the club and just an all-around top bloke. We are so lucky to have him in the program.
Marcus started his career playing in the Hawthorn Basketball Association (now Basketball Hawthorn) for various domestic clubs (Central City Breakers, Falcons and Titans). He started playing representative basketball at Hawthorn Magic as a bottom age U12 in 2008. Over his Hawthorn Magic journey, he has been coached by some of Magic’s best coaches including; Hannah Lowe, Darryl McDonald (D-Mack), Jason Smith, Shawn King and Marcus Timmons.
Over the journey, he enjoyed a lot of team success including; attending multiple National Junior Classic Tournaments (U12 – U18), two-time Victorian Championship Runner’s Up (U16 and U20). Marcus also played for Hawthorn Magic’s Youth League Team for several years. After finishing high school (Trinity Grammar School, Kew), Marcus went to a very famous little island in Canada (Prince Edward Island) to play basketball and study at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Marcus kicked off his coaching career at Hawthorn Magic before he left for Canada, coaching the U12.6s in 2017. Whilst in Canada Marcus was able to continue to develop as a coach alongside his playing as he was involved in training programs for the youth basketballers on the island. Upon his return to Australia, he began coaching the U12.5s and working with many of Basketball Hawthorn’s programs (Aussie Hoops, Game Ready, Development Squad, etc.). He quickly rose through the ranks and is currently the Hawthorn Magic 12.1 boys’ coach as well as the Youth Men’s Coach.
Marcus attended Trinity Grammar School, Kew and still lives locally with his parents Dario and Tania, as well as, his younger brother Adam. He is still studying at RMIT completing a double degree in Business (Management) and Science (Applied Science).
Marcus got involved in basketball through both his mum (who has played all her life and still plays today) and Hannah Lowe at a Friday evening ‘Skills & Drills’ session (similar to Game Ready). Although, at first it was fair to say basketball wasn’t his game through the persistent encouragement of both his mum and Hannah he stuck it out and hasn’t looked back.
What do you love most about the game and who or what has inspired you the most?
Marcus said “What I love about basketball is that doesn’t matter what stage of the game it is you are always involved in the action. It is a game that allows you to meet so many great people, mentors and allows for great friendships to be formed. Now that I have finished playing, seeing the next group of young athletes coming through is what keeps me involved. Helping these young kids develop and grow over a period of time, not just as a basketballer but as a person, is extremely rewarding for me and it is why I would love to stay involved in the game for as long as possible”.
“Being around basketball (either playing, coaching or as a fan) for more than two-thirds of my life I have met some great people that have inspired/encouraged me. First has to be my mum and dad, they were always super supportive of me and always helping me and driving me to basketball games and training. I have to say if it wasn’t for them I would not have been able to achieve what I have in the sport. In terms of inspiring me to try and play college basketball that has to be Hannah Lowe and Darryl McDonald (D-Mack). These two both challenged me but also developed and taught me so much that allowed me to grow and develop on the court.”
What basketball teams do you follow and what values do you try to instil in your players?
“Obviously Hawthorn Magic is the team that I watch and support the most, however, I also follow the NCAA Division I Basketball. I don’t have a favourite team, instead, I like to follow the coaches. I think that watching the coaches in this competition (along with the coaches that have coached me) has allowed me to develop values that I hope I can pass on. If I was to describe it in two words it would be ‘Attitude’ and ‘Enjoyment’. Trying to install the right attitude in our players is important, this includes; work hard, be a great teammate, always try to get better and learn from those around you. I truly believe that if athletes can buy into developing the right attitude there is a direct relationship with getting lots of enjoyment out of playing.”
“Basketball is a great community game and Hawthorn Magic has given me so many great opportunities to play, travel (Gold Coast, Adelaide and USA) and make lasting friendships. It is an honour to be involved at the club in a coaching capacity at all age groups and levels … GO MAGIC”.
Marus is locked in as the Head Coach of our Youth League Men for the upcoming Big V 2022 Season! Click here to read more.