The summer is not just a chance for players to work on their craft, but a time for coaches as well. Many North Dakota high school and college basketball coaches were in town to hear former Dakota Wizards head coach Dave Joerger talk about the Xs and Os, but also how to relate to the Jimmys and Joes.
Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger went over several offensive and defensive plays for coaches in a two-part session at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Convention in Bismarck.
“I think as coaches we are all in it together,” Joerger said. “There’s a enough things that are out there that are negative. We are coaching for pure-hearted, how-can-we-help-the-kids mindset.”
Joerger spoke to several coaches between sessions and after his second session. He offered more tips as well as encouragement.
“We as coaches we are under fire a lot,” Joerger said. “Hindsight is always 20-20 and Monday morning quaterback, but how can we help our kids get better and give them a positive situation where they can improve and have a great experience for whatever team that they are on.”
Several Class A and Class B Coaches, including Dan Welder… who this year lead the Kidder County Wolves girls basketball team to an undefeated regular season.
“You’re always looking for one or two things when you come to these conventions,” Welder said. “Pick-and-roll defense is one of the main things that you want to look at these days. Now days a lot of teams are running the pick-and-roll actions, so any little tidbit that you can find that help your team.”
Also gaining knowledge was new Washburn head coach Jeff Brandt, who recently took over the Cardinals after a year off from leading the Solen boys’ basketball program.
“[Joerger] talks so well about ball screens and defending ball screens,” Brandt said. “He’s been extremely successful with that in the best basketball league in the world. If you can take a few things from that an implement it in your program you’ll be a few steps ahead I think.”
Joerger said he is taking a sabatical this year after the Kings parted ways with him after three seasons. In which he posted a 98-148 record.
“Working some TV,” Joerger said. “I did the [NBA] Draft last week. Hopefully we can do some stuff with some of the networks and some studio work and continue to stay in the game and visit places.”
He also wants to use this time for personal growth.
“How can I get better,” Joerger said. “I’m out here picking people’s brains on things that they do and things that they like and things that they see.”
The national coaches convention runs through Thursday at Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Bismarck.