Local Coaches Learn From Pacers Staff at Jr. NBA Week Clinic
Inside the practice court of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, it was back to the basics.
But on this Thursday, it wasn't Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo receiving instructions from Nate McMillan and the Pacers coaching staff — it was over 100 coaches from Indiana and beyond, learning the techniques that the Pacers coaching staff uses as part of Jr. NBA Week and the Jr. Pacers program, presented by St. Vincent.
"It gives them an opportunity to learn from the pros, so we've got Nate McMillan and his entire coaching staff here to be able to give them some feedback so they can learn some things and be able to teach them to their kids," explained Richie Smith, the Pacers' Community Relations Manager.
The evening got underway with a question-and-answer session hosted by Pacers radio voice Mark Boyle, which touched upon McMillan's coaching history and the current state of the team with the season less than one week away.
The coaches ranged from all levels of basketball — from youth basketball to elite high school teams, all in attendance to see if there was a way they could better their teams as well as their own coaching methods.
"I know when I first started coaching, drills were something I didn't have, even though I had played the game my whole life," explained McMillan. "But teaching the game is different. So it's an opportunity for us to show them some things that we do, and have them ask questions, and we ask questions as well, to see if we can learn something."
Each assistant coach took turns demonstrating drills that were easy to replicate but had real value for players. Defensive-minded assistant coach Dan Burke showed the crowd of coaches a half court press drill, while assistant coach Bill Bayno taught an array of dribbling moves that emphasized ball security.
As the Pacers coaches taught, the coaches in attendance scribbled notes down for their memory, while some recorded the drills on their phones.
"It's an opportunity to talk basketball and teach the game that you love and really learn from everybody," McMillan said of the clinic. "We have all age groups here, from people who coach little kids, to college kids, and it's an opportunity for the coaches to brainstorm and talk to each other."