Coach Newell: Basketball must be taught with fun

Professional basketball coach Tom Newell told aspiring coaches and current coaches to teach the sport of basketball with fun and encourage players to dream and set their own goals in life.

This coach Newell told coaches during the general coaches session held Tuesday night at the Palau National gym. He also reminded coaches not to discourage players and shout at them when they commit mistakes.

“Teach them the game with fun, mistakes are normal in a game, but as coaches we must learn to encourage our players for them to learn from their mistakes and play give their best. Dream big and who knows the next NBA player might come from Palau, teach them the proper fundamentals and rules of the game for them to understand fully how to play the sport,” Newell said.

Aside from imparting thoughts to coaches he also let them watch how he instructed drills for players Wednesday night with the Palau National Men’s team under headcoach Ziske Asanuma. Newell showed warm up drills, dribbling and passing drills that could eventually develop skills of players.

“Basketball right now has become an individual skills game. As coaches it is our duty to remind players that there is no I in a TEAM. We have to teach them to become team players on and off the court,” Newell stressed.

Tom Newell is an American former professional basketball coach. He attended University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1971, he began his career working as a scout for the Golden State Warriors in the 80s.

After serving as the Indiana Pacers' Director of Player Personnel in 1984, he moved on to be an assistant coach for the Seattle SuperSonics (now in Oklahoma City).

During the 1990s, he served as assistant coaches for the New Jersey Nets, college scout Milwaukee Bucks, and asst. coach Dallas Mavericks. In 1995, he became the head coach of the Greek professional team Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C. and began his works on international programs.

With extensive experience, he later joined the coaching staff of the short-lived WNBA team Portland Fire. Coach Newell also has been the Men's National Team Coach of Japan in 2000, as well as Coach of the Jilin NE Tigers China Basketball Association team. His extensive travels since leaving the NBA have spanned the globe: Vladivostok, Russia, Yakutsk, Russia, Ireland, Belgium, St.Kitts, St. Vincent Grenadines, Seoul Korea, Caracas, Venezuela, Guatemala, Canada, Madrid, Spain, Taipei, China and the Philippines.

He currently represents the State Department as a Sports Ambassador, teaching coaches and players about the game of basketball he also represents FIBA as one of the Expert Instructors in their Olympic Development Program for Third World countries. Coach Newell is very active in his community with free camps and clinics for kids ages: 7 to 15.

This camp program is designed to teach kids about being on a team, working together and making right choices away from home and school environment. The themes of his Best Effort Camps & Clinics are: "Eat Right to Play Right" and "Let's Cease to be Obese"...

Coach Newell’s visit to Palau is through the efforts of US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Thomas Daley and the US Embassy in Palau.

Today, coach Newell will visit Peleliu Elementary School and will give them some basketball clinic after which he will visit the Rock Islands for some snorkeling before he leaves.  By Peter Erick L. Magbanua (Island Times News)


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