Sharone Wright, ”I know that coaching is what I will be doing for many, many years”

Deze komt uit 2010, een prachtig mens waar ik veel gesprekken mee heb gevoerd.

I had a very great interview with Assistant Coach Sharone Wright of EiffelTowers Den Bosch. The former NBA player shares some thoughts on coaching, including what it takes to be an assistant coach, and talked about a number of things including the dedication and passion it requires.

1995 Rookie All-Star GameHow did you get into coaching so soon after playing for so many successful years?
Well sometimes things just happen to line up when not expected. I was already getting settled into my life after basketball .My wife Brandi and I felt like this was a perfect time to start my second career. When your chance comes you have to take advantage of it. I knew when I was playing that coaching was also my dream. When I retired, Remco Vogelaar and Eiffel reached out to me and talked about it .They felt that I really have what it takes to be a successful coach. All of this plus I felt really at home In Den Bosch so really it made a logical choice. I don’t think I could have made the choice if I hadn’t already played for Den Bosch. My years of NBA, Europe and Asia gives me so much of an insight and experience to give our players. Being successful as a player does not make you a good coach so I really work hard at my craft.

What interested you in coaching?
My high school coach Don ‘Duck’ Richardson was my motivation. He coached NBA players like Jeff Malone and the great Norm Nixon. HEs considered the greatest basketball coach in Georgia history. He made me the player that I was and he left a lasting impression on me. HE was tough and he covered all aspects of the game in terms of fundamentals. I think that’s the reason why I work so hard to teach. His motto was ‘teach the game’.

What is the biggest adjustment between playing and coaching for you?
One of the biggest differences is the mental part. I knew it would be hard to put the ball down but nothing could prepare me for the yearning that Id gets to play the game again. It wasn’t until my second year coaching that I knew that I needed to put everything that I had into it.

Time restraints is another thing. I really have no down time and its sort like what comes with the job. Actually I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still play one on one against Jerome Beasley and Marcel Aarts sometimes but trust me my playing days are over. With coaching I really had to work on my multi-tasking skills and utilizing my time wisely.

What did you learn in terms of how to coach a team from the coaches Wiel and Beck?
I have been so fortunate to have started my career in coaching with two great coaches. Randy Wiel in a lot of ways is responsible for me getting into coaching and preparing me as well. He taught me also about practice tactics, the importance of managing a team. He was always very organized and he paid attention to detail very, very well. Randy is considered an offensive coach but we really worked hard on defense too. His practice plans were very, very sharp.

Don Becks basketball mind is as good as I’ve ever been around. His work ethic is impeccable!!!. He is in the office every morning at 730AM, so I try to beat him to the office. Don believes that you have to put the work in to get the results that you want. HE will not stop until we are prepared. The importance of unity and being on the same page are things that they both taught me. Don’s intensity reminds me of my NBA days. I’ve learned game situation things and game preparation from them both. Both Randy and Don believe in my growth as a coach. They both take the time to teach me and groom me for one day being a successful head coach. I consider them both my mentors in coaching.

sharone-729328What are some of the specific duties that you have during the game and/or practice?
Nothing is beneath me because I want to be the best coach that I can possibly be. With the Brand new Eiffeltowers Basketball School opened already this year, there’s plenty of work and excitement to go around. I try to be around for everything that is EiffelTowers. I do clinics a lot for basketball and non-basketball related groups. A typical day is arriving two hours early so that I can be better prepared for when practice starts. I start with the practice schedule for the day .I go over all of the specifics of practice with coach Beck. Then I make sure I edit all of our video and scouting reports. I try to make sure we are all set up with regards to our gym.

I organize two groups of pre practice shooting or individual work. Both of these groups will be at practice very early. During game days we usually practice early that day so I’m doing those same duties as well. Game Day duties include the characteristics of every player on the opposing team along with their stats and tendency’s. I must know all about each and every player and relegated that to the head coach. I’m also responsible for our pre game interviews with EiffelTowers TV. Individual work during the warm up is another of my jobs. I make sure the guys are truly ready to play .At game time I keep stats on different plays that the opposing team runs and specific percentages.

I monitor the fatigue and overall performance of the players. In addition to that I also have to have mind set of the head coach and be ready in case I have to be the head coach for that game. I must be prepared at all times. For example I had to coach a number of games last season for various reasons and I felt that I was really prepared.

How do you as a coaching staff find time for player development during a busy season, when you’re focused on competing as a top team?
I credit that to Don Beck because he just keeps good tabs on things very well. You’re right it’s very hard when you’re competing in Eurochallenge or Euro cup, but we do an amazing job at this. I’ve played on the highest level of basketball so I understand different ways of development. When playing so many games you cannot forget to continue the growth of the players who don’t play a lot so I work the guys out daily that don’t play more than 20 minutes in a game. It’s very important to remain sharp during a long season and sometimes regular practice doesn’t do this.

So coach Beck or myself will work out guys individually. I’ve been around most of our players for 3 years so I have an advantage with guys like Aarts, Oliver, Akerboom, Frederiks and Van Vugt. I know their games and what we want from them so we work on their individual skill development along with all of our players.

Do you carve up the roster as a coaching staff, where somebody handle bigs and somebody handle guards?
Usually that’s the case but sometimes I’m really on both sides of the court. I’m a bigs coach but first I’m a basketball coach period. I have great knowledge of the guard positions too. I work very hard with our small forwards and guards. Coach Beck is the same way. It is no secret that he will work the centers and forwards at any time. His intensity knows no boundaries for both groups. Again that has grown on me too.

Do you individually work with particular players more than others?
Any player that wants to improve their game is welcome in the gym. I love to work with all of our guys because they all have a level of professionalism. Truthfully they all want to get better so you can find them 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after practice.

Do you have a coaching philosophy yet, or is it a work in progress for a lifetime?
I am perfecting it as we speak. I know that coaching is what I will be doing for many, many years so I have time to set it in stone. My philosophy is a combination of the great coaching minds that I’ve been fortunate to be around and my own. A mixture of Don Beck, pinch of Randy Wiel, A sprinkle Cliff Ellis, a spoon full my high school coach, a dash of Phil Jackson and a little John Lucas and Billy Cunningham. TEAM= Together everyone achieves more.

What are your thoughts on the team this upcoming season? I mean, I know Coach Beck always works on what he has and builds upon that. Can you give me your thoughts on the coming season?
This season will be a monumental season because of the collection of players that we have. But it also will be difficult. It’s hard to have the bulls eye on your back every game. We will get each team’s best fight each game because of the expectations. I love this part because we really have the type of team that can do some special things. We will have some tough games with Groningen, West Brabant, Leiden and all of the Eredivisie teams. I learned a long time ago that a lot comes with playing and being with Den Bosch.

We are a team that has great pride and has a lot of success over the years. We will always get the tough games and the most expectations. With the addition of Rogier Jansen in our back court to pair with a healthy Dean Oliver, Steenvoorde, Anthony Richardson and the return of Jos Frederiks makes us even stronger than last year. Add that with Kees Akerboom and Stefan Wessels and you have two of the best forwards In Holland. What makes our team so attractive is our addition of Peter Van Paassen to go along with a full season of Jerome Beasley and Marcel Aarts.

We are very happy with our team and we expect great things. I’m quick to point out that we are a work in progress and we have a lot of work to do. You have to bring intensity, smarts and effort to the game each night. SO it will be very interesting. Stay tuned. Go Den Bosch!!!!!!! Go Red!!!!

Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? What are your immediate and long-term goals?
Immediately Id likes to return to the championship circle and win another championship. Also Id likes to keep the Dutch Cup here in Den Bosch. We’ve won two since I’ve been here and they’ve meant a lot to me. I do a lot of coaching in the summers and Id like to one day get an opportunity to coach NBA. Coach Beck always says I’m gonna get there and I feel that some day I will. I see myself as a very successful European and NBA championship coach with all of the hard work i’m already in 2 years showing.

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