Basketball U: Coaching the Coaches
UCF director of program development Brendan Suhr and Boston Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman are two of the most respected figures in basketball. Both have spent time coaching in college, and have also coached at the game’s highest level, the NBA.
As a result of their experience, the duo are the ideal candidates to run a coaching clinic, and will do just that when Coaching U Live is held on the UCF campus next week.
For two days, starting on Wednesday, the Venue at UCF will be the central point of the basketball coaching community. Over 300 coaches from the high school, college and even professional ranks will be on hand to learn from Suhr, Eastman and an all-star group of guest speakers.
The event, which Suhr and Eastman started in 2009, will be held in Orlando for the first time. Las Vegas served as the host city in each of the previous two years. Now the UCF campus will serve as the classroom for the coaches.
“Kevin and I used to do a lot of clinics together,” Suhr said. “We wanted to create a learning event that would take people to another level. It would not be just another basketball clinic. So we worked and brainstormed for six months and we finally arrived on something that was pretty good.”
The “pretty good” focuses on instructing coaches on a variety of topics – not just x’s and o’s. Clinic topics include motivational techniques and leadership in addition to plenty of talk about pick and rolls and zone defense.
“We have been challenging ourselves to take this to another level. We have invited the best of the best to speak and instruct,” Suhr said.
This year, speakers include ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, Nike director of international basketball George Raveling, Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers and St. John’s assistant coach and former Denver Nuggets assistant coach Mike Dunlap.
Coaching U Live was originally created to instruct college coaches, but its audience has grown.
“The intention at the beginning was to get an NBA faculty to teach college coaches,” Suhr said. “The first 28 people who signed up this year were high school coaches, which is incredible.”
Due to the NBA lockout, Suhr expects several NBA coaches to attend as well. The clinic is being held just before the start of the AAU national tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, so its timing and location is perfect for college coaches on the recruiting trail. UCF men’s basketball head coach Donnie Jones and women’s basketball head coach Joi Williams will be in attendance, along with their entire staffs, ready to gain more knowledge.
“We want to create a learning environment. It is all about learning,” Suhr said. “That has been my whole purpose for the last 10 years. I coach coaches. With Kevin, we asked, how do we make the largest impact on the greatest number of coaches? If you are a coach on any level, we think that this clinic is one of the best learning experiences that you can have.”
To learn more, click here to visit Coaching U Live.