It’s not Ryan Schmidt’s character to talk about himself.
The marriage between humble and confident is organic, years in the making. His success, a list longer than the list of 12 at the Hamilton Honey Badgers, doesn’t define him.
There is no sense of bombast when he talks to his players, nor does he approach coaching with the mentality that basketball was better when he played professionally.
On the contrary, these are his lowest moments, his personal and professional traps from which he draws inspiration.
Both basketball players and coaches know Schmidt. His time with the Portland Trail Blazers and Raptors 905 can attest to this.
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He can launch games and exploit the weaknesses of opponents. His attention to the game is not the reason Jerry Stackhouse remembered him about Raptors 905.
That’s not why Canadian Jermaine Anderson, who under any other circumstance would probably never have crossed paths with Oregon-born Keizer, knew who he wanted to be the head coach of the Hamilton Honey Badgers when he was named general manager of the team. ,
Schmidt’s “first player” coaching strategy, which some praise and criticize others, is his own, but will become common to the team over the CEBL Summer Series. He is unique to him because he is painted with the brushes of his own life and career, but he finds a common language with his players, in each of whom he sees the remnants of himself.
“I did not have [playing] career, “Schmidt said.” It was something that I pursued after, but I did not have the career that I wanted, and I realized how difficult it is not only to do it professionally, but also to make a long, sustainable career. “
“I think my mind, as far as knowing that [the players] go through what they want and knowing how hard it is gives me a different point of view because I worked for [Jerry Stackhouse] who had an 18-year NBA career. “
A lifelong passion for basketball
From the age of two, his passion for basketball was evident. He tried other sports such as baseball and was heavily recruited as a high school soccer player.
His decision to drop football scholarships instead of attending college basketball may have puzzled others, but to Schmidt it was clear. He was good at football, but he didn’t light a fire in him like he did in basketball.
Growing a few more inches definitely helped him move towards his basketball dreams, eventually earning a scholarship to the University of Hawaii.
A star in Hawaii, he returned to his state after completing his sophomore year to complete his university career at Western Oregon University.
When he was drafted to the NBA D-League (now the G-League) in 2008, Schmidt was steps away from his goal of playing on the biggest stage, hoping to join the roster of players who started their careers from the beginning of the D-League. ,
Achieving his dream, however realistic it may be, has never been linear. In 2008-2010, there was a leap between the D-League and the ABA (American Basketball Association) in his career.
Schmidt’s chance to impress the NBA team quickly dwindled, and the injuries he sustained left him facing the harshest reality: his professional playing career was over before it even started.
“You have to be professional,” Schmidt said. “You have to take care of your body and develop good habits. This is what I am [ask] guys all the time, “Are your habits aligned with your goals?”
“These players have goals, whether it’s playing in the NBA or at a high level in Europe, and from me, knowing where I was and how it didn’t happen, I always talked about it too. look back on my gaming days and regret anything. “
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Going home to Oregon and doing odd jobs was not what he predicted for his future, but again, no coaching.
A family friend who ran a youth basketball camp approached Schmidt with the opportunity, unknowingly opening doors he never even considered, ultimately leading to a position as head coach in South Carolina.
His highest highs, immediately followed by his lowest highs, drove him to CEBL.
Schmidt’s personal history gives him a perspective, an affinity for his players that other coaches have never lived. These are the stories he will tell his players the night before the season starts, not about his successes, but about his stumbling blocks during Hamilton’s nightly “player conversations”.
His conversations with players are PowerPoint presentations made by players, consisting of the reasons they are playing, the misfortune they have faced, and their goals and commitments for the season. These negotiations provide insight into which players are off the court, creating a bond between them that seems impossible over a two-week season.
But if anyone can do it, it’s Ryan Schmidt. After all, he was there.
“You have to be prepared every day, because you never know, today may be the day that changes your career – good or bad.”
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