Today we are excited to announce Levell Sanders of BJ JIP Pardubice to our Scorers 1st Showcase 2018 coaching staff in Las Vegas this upcoming July.
We are happy to announce Tim Fanning (currently an Assistant Coach with Euroleague team Maccabi Tel Aviv) as the latest addition to the coaching staff for our Scorers 1st Showcase in Las Vegas on July 12th and 13th during the time of the NBA Summer League.
Here is a quick Q&A with Tim:
Q: You have visited the Scorers 1st Showcase before. What made you want to be a coach in/at the event?
A: It is a good opportunity to get back on the floor and interact with players in a new setting. With a very short time frame I enjoy the challenge of getting to know the players then trying to give the team some organization and direction that will help the players showcase their skills in a positive way.
Q: How do you normally go about scouting and recruiting players and how valuable is it to be able to see players live?
A: Really depends on the situation, but the most likely scenario is trying to find a player that has a specific skill set that will complement a roster basketball wise. Then making sure that the player has the mental/professional skills to fit in the locker room/club. Can they live in another country and be a professional in terms of their effort and preparation every day? Especially when things get difficult? With the length and challenges that come with a season you really want to try and find players that know how to grind and be a part of a team.
Q: Are you focussed on the basketball skills of a player or are there other things you pay a lot of attention to?
A: Definitely focused on the basketball skills but it is much easier to evaluate the skills of a player than their character/competitive make up. The competitive spirit of an individual is something that I pay close attention to when evaluating a player. Does he play defense if his minutes are limited? or if he is having an off game offensively? Those are two questions I want to know the answer to. But obviously if the skill set needs to match in the first place.
Q: What were the biggest differences you noticed with power-house Maccabi Tel Aviv compared to your other coaching stints so far?
A: The level of tactical variety and precision in the Euroleague was something special. The team’s all have very different styles but are very precise in how they try to attack you on both ends of the floor which means that the level of attention to details required by players (and coaches) was very demanding. It was similar to the World Championships but the teams have much more preparation time and they evolve over the course of the competition.
To work in a club like Maccabi was a great opportunity. It is a club that has won titles at an amazing rate during it’s history and has high expectations for players and coaches. They provided us with all the tools needed to be successful and I really enjoyed working in an environment that is in constant pursuit of titles.
Q: Please give us a little more background about your coaching career so far.
A: I “formed” as a coach in Spain and I believe I was the first US born coach to complete the Spanish Basketball Federations highest coaching license “Titulo Superior.” After 6 years as a head coach in the lower divisions of Spain I spent one season as an assistant coach in the NBA D League with the Delaware 87ers. From there I went to New Zealand and was with the Tall Blacks (NZ National Team) for the 2014 World Championships and then 2 seasons as a head coach for the Nelson Giants in New Zealand’s top domestic league.
I love coaching individuals and to see them go on to better jobs after our time together is something that really motivates me. I have enjoyed coaching in different countries and learning new languages and cultures while trying to understand the delicate differences that each country has in how they “live the game of basketball.
We are pleased to announce the addition of Scott Schroeder of the Reno Bighorns to the coaching staff of the Scorers 1st Showcase.
Having been a frequent visitor of the Scorers 1st Showcase over the years to scout and evaluate talent we are now excited to have him with us and to see him add value and knowledge from a D-League perspective to our event and to the attending players.
Here is a quick Q&A with Scott Schroeder:
Q: Have you attended prior Scorers 1st Showcases and/or events? If so, how would you describe that experience?
A: I have attended for the past few years – every time I get to the Vegas Summer League, I make sure I know when the Scorers 1st Showcase is being held. I love it because I know Gerrit and his team always work hard to put together a good roster being led by well-respected coaches. Plus it’s always easy to get to – making it much easier to scout than a lot of the Showcases being held during the NBA’s Summer League.
Q: Now being part of the Showcase coaching staff, what are you looking forward to the most this July in Las Vegas?
A: Just the all-around experience. I just finished my most-involved season coaching in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns and I’ll be taking a touring team to China about a month before the Showcase so I’m excited to get a chance to see more players up close and in-person. There aren’t many opportunities to do that in preparation for the D-League season so I plan to take full advantage.
Q: What do you look for when evaluating players and deciding how to help them develop for the next level in professional basketball?
A: The majority of it is just how they’ll translate to our style of basketball – if they understand the way professional basketball is played and then if they’re mentally tough enough and physically gifted enough to be able to handle the grind of a 50-game season with sometimes difficult travel. The majority of players that get looks at the D-League level are all pretty skilled anyway, so finding guys that really understand and are able to utilize their unique skillset in a team setting is a big key.
As far as helping develop guys, I think it’s more just helping them find their niche and getting in where they can fit in. I’ve seen many very gifted players not reach the levels of pro basketball that they should’ve been capable of because they were trying to showcase the wrong things and I’ve seen players that most wouldn’t assume are very good – but they’ve perfected one or two little things that have allowed them to make a lot of money and have successful careers.
Q: How important is it to be able to connect one-on-one with a player compared to just seeing them on film and/or a highlight reel?
A: I’m a huge believer in watching film and getting an idea of the overall body of work a guy has put together, but connecting one-on-one is much more important when deciding if he’s actually ready and able to help our team win games. Seeing their body language after a teammate’s negative play effects them; finding out if they can take coaching; if they’re leaders or willing followers; and if they understand how to play without the basketball – things typically not shown on Synergy or YouTube – are all very important when deciding if a player can help us down the road.
Q: Can you share briefly how long you have worked in professional basketball and the players you have enjoyed working with along the way?
A: I’ve been in the D-League for the past five seasons. My first full-time job was with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and I’ve held various positions with the Reno Bighorns since then – this past season being an assistant coach as well as the Director of Player Personnel. There are many players that I’ve enjoyed being around both on and off the court over the year (Reggie Hearn, Bryant Voiles, Cam Ayers, Luke Martinez and Mark Tyndale being close friends even outside of the basketball season). Some of the more recognizable names with either NBA or high-level European experience are Erick Green, Brady Heslip, Vince Hunter, Andrew Goudelock, Jordan Hamilton, Cliff Hammonds, Skal Labissiere, Ricky Ledo, Renaldo Major, Kendall Marshall, Ray McCallum, Luis Montero, Eric Moreland, Quincy Miller, Gary Neal, Demetris Nichols, Georgios Pappagiannis, Lamar Patterson, Malachi Richardson, KC Rivers, Donald Sloan, David Stockton, Chad Toppert, Jarvis Varnado, David Wear and Hassan Whiteside.
Q: What coaches have helped influence you?
A: My biggest influence on on-court coaching style has been Dave Arseneault Jr. as his innovate pace-and-space offensive style really helped me see where basketball is headed. Not only that, but it’s pretty easy to find specialists in his system as there are clear roles for each player on the court. Whether you’re a shooter, a point guard, a screener, know how to get open on the weakside, a roller, a pop guy or someone that can catch and go right to the basket, there’s a defined role for you on the court – and it’s easy to see who isn’t doing their job when watching the film after.
Off the court, Joel Abelson has been a mentor to me since I first tried getting into this business. Darrick Martin taught me a lot this past year both on and off the court. Rico Hines and Ross McMains are two of the best player development coaches in the world and I’ve been fortunate to work with both of them.
Q: What’s the biggest word of advice you can give to a college basketball player looking to compete and gain exposure to prepare them for their rookie season as a pro?
A: Be the best at doing what you do. I think a lot of players think they need to average 30-plus points to get noticed, but that just isn’t the case. I’ve had a lot of success finding players in the later rounds of the D-League Draft or even through tryouts – David Stockton, David Nwaba, Ra’Shad James, Bryan Davis, Cam Griffin, Mark Tyndale, Bryant Voiles – that didn’t have huge box score impacts or the best resumè prior to their seasons with me, but they were good humans and understood how to impact the game in their own way enough to enjoy productive professional seasons.