Matthew Van Pelt is our latest addition to the Industry Link Media team.
Van Pelt, a 32-year old native from the United States, is a professional basketball coach, former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, sports writer, and a recently published author.
He has ventured to Kalgoorlie not only to boost our intimate, but ever-growing staff with Industry Link Media, but also to take on the challenge of leading our Goldfields Giants Men’s Basketball team back to prominence.
Basketball has been Coach Van Pelt’s passion, life, and area of expertise for more than two decades now.
With basketball experience in more than 25 countries, his experience with the game runs deep. Firstly as a player, Van Pelt spent seven years playing professionally across 13 different countries.
He won league MVP in Cambodia and Thailand, led the league in the Northern Territory of Australia in both scoring and assists, led the leagues of Indonesia, Ireland, and Thailand in assists, and won championships in French Polynesia, Italy, Switzerland, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Prior to traveling the globe as a professional, Van Pelt played four years of college basketball at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, where he started all four seasons and won the Pete Maravich Award, which often goes to one of the nation’s top point guards, and had his school rename their team’s award for its best defender after him, dubbing it the ‘Matt Van Pelt Defensive Player of the Year’ award.
As an athlete, Van Pelt hardly passed the eye test as a 5’9 undersized point guard on the court. He carried with him an underdog mentality which has since joined him along his coaching career path as well, as teaching not just the pros, but also the beginners, has been a focus of his.
In his young, but busy coaching career thus far, Van Pelt has led camps, clinics, and skill workouts for athletes of all ages and abilities, from coaching kids in Jordan who have never touched a basketball, to coaching primary school kids in Malaysia, high schoolers in the Maldives, and non-English speakers in Tahiti and Guatemala among other places, Van Pelt’s passion for teaching the game has reached all parts of the globe.
While educating young athletes in the basics brings Van Pelt joy, he’s at his best when working with the best.
Van Pelt has coached with or trained under five of the world’s most famous and well renowned basketball trainers in the world. He has also coached multiple former NBA players himself on the player development side of things, and has won consecutive championships at some of the highest levels of basketball in Asia, where he has spent his last 8 years living.
Most recently, Van Pelt has lived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the past four years, where he has led the Vietnam Men’s National Team in both 5v5 and 3×3 to multiple medals in the Southeast Asian Games, and also where he has steered the Saigon Heat, arguably Vietnam’s most prestigious professional sports organisation, to four straight championships in Vietnam, something never before done in southeast Asia.
Van Pelt hopes his recent success won’t be a thing of the past, but something that will be contagious as he brings his winning desires to Kalgoorlie’s very own Goldfields Giants men’s team.
“I can already sense Kalgoorlie Boulder has a very strong sports community, and I hope to make it proud,” said Van Pelt.
“It’s not going to be easy, as the NBL1 West competition only keeps getting stronger, but I didn’t come here to lose games. Our aim is to win, and to win sooner than later. After just a handful of training sessions I can see we’ve got a great group of guys who are very coachable, get after it with intensity, and put the team first. We are looking to add one or two more talented pieces to the roster that I think will fit in perfectly to what we’ve got already. It will take some time to grow our chemistry and we must have a very intentional training camp, but we plan to compete,” Van Pelt added.
While Coach Van Pelt aims to instil the winning mentality into each of his Giants players, he too hopes to get the community behind the team, and to become an integral part of that community himself.
It won’t be just his leadership of the Giants, but also his background in sports writing and media that will help to power the Kalgoorlie Boulder community and a new local sports media venture moving forward
Van Pelt graduated from university in 2013 with a degree in English Writing and Journalism. He wrote articles for various newspapers and websites, co-hosted his own blog titled Rant N Rave Sports, and even once interviewed for a sports writing position with the Los Angeles Lakers when formerly living in California.
Van Pelt also used his vast international basketball experience to publish his first book titled, “Hoopin’ Abroad: How to have a long, successful career playing professional basketball around the globe.”
Aside from writing, Kalgoorlie Boulder’s newest coach also delves into business and media, as he is also the president of Van Pelt Sports Management, a placement company he founded in 2015 that helps place professional athletes and coaches with jobs abroad, and has a YouTube channel that shares hoops related content online.
He plans to use his experience with writing, business, and media to smoothly and eagerly integrate into the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community.
“I am really looking forward to meeting those involved with Kalgoorlie Boulder sports community. Obviously, I will be coaching the Giants but I also cannot wait to go check out some of the City’s other sports, meet the teams and fans, get behind the community, and hopefully help put out some content on the various activities happening in our neighborhoods.”