A former Regina Cougars basketball player has some lofty goals, after helping the Milwaukee Bucks win their first NBA championship in 50 years.
Sidney Dobner is the player development coach and video assistant for Milwaukee’s NBA team and worked with them during their title run.
“It was surreal for me to be behind the bench in the biggest game of my entire career,” Dobner said. “Seeing it all unfold like live time just as close as you could possibly get, it was overwhelming in the best way possible.”
Dobner played guard for the Regina Cougars from 2012 to 2016, but was forced to sit out for 2014-15 after a season-ending injury.
After helping Regina achieve a second-place finish in Canada West in 2016, Dobner played professionally in the Netherlands. She then helped coach youth basketball in her home state of California and also worked one-on-one with a few NBA players. That’s when she was noticed by an executive from the Milwaukee Bucks and was offered an internship with the team.
Soon after, she was promoted to a full-time position with the NBA club.
“I’ve never been more anxious and excited and nervous for a basketball game that I’m not even stepping on the floor for,” Dobner said about the NBA finals against the Pheonix Suns. “My mentality going into it was the exact same as if I were preparing to play the game.”
Dobner was only in Regina for four years but still has a close connection with the Queen City. Most of the messages she got following the Bucks championship came from old friends and teammates in Regina.
“Most of the remarks I got, the congratulations, we saw your pictures, everything, most of that was from Regina,” Dobner said.
Cougars Head Coach Dave Taylor recruited Dobner in 2012 and noticed how well she worked with students at Cougars summer camps.
“How she can explain things, she was just born with it and then her passion for it is unbelievable,” Taylor said.
Taylor urged Dobner to take her studies in Kinesiology and Health Studies more seriously. However, after tagging along with Dobner at a Bucks game in Milwaukee, Taylor saw how the hours she spent studying NBA film prepared her.
“What was I telling her? All this stuff she was doing, like spending time watching basketball video actually got her in the NBA,” Taylor laughed.
Dobner didn’t get any time off after the Bucks championship. She helped scout for the NBA draft, then took on the role of head coach for the Bucks NBA summer league.
“My goal is to be in the NBA at the coaching level, that’s what I’d like to do and I’m taking it step by step,” Dobner said.
Erik Spoelstra, the current head coach of the Miami Heat, started as a video assistant before being promoted to his position. However, a female has ever held the role of head coach in the NBA.
“You know you see the trend of more women and I hope that happens and I hope it continues like that,” Dobner said. “But I also want my job to be because I’m qualified for it I’m the person for the job.”
Now Dobner can add NBA champion to her coaching resume.