There Are No Games. But Basketball Coaches Are Still Busy.


Oklahoma City Thunder Coach Billy Donovan invited about 1,000 people into his home recently while still practicing social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Through videoconferencing, Donovan, 54, gave instruction for more than 80 minutes on the Coaches Clinic site, discussing his offensive philosophy and answering questions submitted to a moderator — all from the comfort of his home in Crescent Beach, Fla.

Coaches routinely give such clinics, with U.S.A. Basketball, for example, holding an annual academy. But with the N.C.A.A. men’s and women’s tournaments canceled, the N.B.A. suspended and the W.N.B.A. postponed — and basketball coaches finding themselves with more spare time — they’re turning to virtual clinics and instruction.

“Now that everybody’s home, it’s a great way to kind of connect,” said Donovan, whose Thunder were fifth in the Western Conference when the N.B.A. suspended play. “So I think everybody’s trying to get creative and look at different ways to utilize their time.”

The sessions on Coaches Clinic began last month as an idea on Twitter, evolving into an online replacement for the Professional Development Series run by the National Association of Basketball Coaches each year at the men’s Final Four.

The site held 258 basketball clinics from March 16 to April 4, Floyd said, for an average of about 13 per day. He provided data showing the site had more than 24,000 registered attendees, including coaches from Australia, Brazil, Israel, Spain and the Philippines.

Speakers have included South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Penn State’s Pat Chambers, the W.N.B.A. champion coach Lin Dunn and the trainer Chris Johnson, who has worked with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler.

For the attendees, the clinics provide instruction on all aspects of basketball, including offensive and defensive techniques, running a program and handling time management.

Kellen Fernetti, the women’s basketball coach at Lamar Community College in Colorado, has already participated in about 10 sessions.

“I have seen tons and taken notes,” Fernetti wrote in an email. “There is no doubt this has made me better during this difficult time. Every aspect of basketball has been covered, and what I like is every level of basketball has had coaches be a part of it.”

The coaches see the clinics as a way to give back during this downtime.

“Part of coaching, normally, is you value teams,” said Tim O’Toole, an associate head coach at Pittsburgh, who spent two seasons at Duke under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. “And one of the things that Coach K used to talk about all the time was great teams share energy. You share things. And here we are in this age of social distancing, which is so opposite of what we’re used to doing.”



Sahred From Source link Sports

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*