March 16, 2010
Video Date: December 11, 2009
Running at "break neck" speed with head held high for a clear view is something Brandon Jennings does very well...both on and off the basketball court. It's not always easy. The quick transition to the NBA is tricky indeed, but Brandon isn't alone in the process. Just like speedy teammates filling the lanes on the fastbreak, there is support for Jennings in the transition game.
A couple examples:
Chrysa Chin - Player Development Vice President, NBA
The NBA assists its' first year players with a series of programs designed to help gain the skills and knowledge necessary for a transition to the NBA. The most notable program, the Rookie Transition Program, began in 1986. The 6-day concentrated training session provides a crucial roadmap for what can be an overwhelming rookie season. For players age 20 and under, the league assigns a talented professional like Chrysa Chin to mentor the league's youngest players.
"It's very important to connect with these young men to ensure they have a foundation to handle everything that comes at them when they first enter the NBA," says Chen. "It's not simply getting them through the first years of their careers, it's about establishing life skills that will help them succeed in all aspects of life during and after their playing days."
Skip Robinson - Player Development & Community Relations Director, Milwaukee Bucks
As the team's Player Development Director for nine seasons, Skip is responsible for helping players develop and grow off the court.
"There are a lot of pressures for these young men, especially when they first enter the league," says Skip. "We need to make sure they are developing their basketball skills as well as their life skills. Success outside the lines fuels success inside them."
According to Skip, Brandon is handling his transition quite well. He attributes Brandon's close relationship with his mother and brother, and the time spent in Italy as critical roots for a solid foundation and NBA transition.
Brandon appreciates the effort from the Bucks and the NBA. "I learn every day from the folks around me. There is a lot that comes at us, so we need people we trust to help us along the way," Brandon explained.
So far Brandon has handled the up-tempo pace with great control.
February 1, 2010 - The Rookie Ride