Pipeline to the Pros (Hardcover)

Pipeline to the Pros By Ben Kaplan, Danny Parkins Cover Image
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Jeff Van Gundy. Brad Stevens. Frank Vogel. Mike Budenholzer. Tom Thibodeau. Sam Presti. Leon Rose. Before you knew his name, before he drafted your favorite player, before he guided your team to a championship, he had a playing career of his own at an NCAA Division III college. He didn’t play for fortune – the NBA was out of reach, and his school didn’t even give athletic scholarships. He didn’t play for fame – his games weren’t televised, and the stands were rarely full. Whatever the motivation, he simply couldn’t give up the game of basketball. And that didn’t change after graduation, when it was time to pick a career path.

For the first time in league history, NBA coaches and general managers are just as likely to have played Division III basketball as they are to have played in the NBA. While the number of former D3 players working in the NBA is higher than ever, small college alums have served in leadership positions since the league’s founding. They shaped the NBA into what it is today, playing integral roles in the Lakers’ initial success in Los Angeles, the inception of several expansion franchises, the creation of the popular All-Star Weekend dunk contest, the globalization of the league, and more.

Their improbable and inspiring journeys tell a bigger story – the history of small college athletics, the evolution of coaching and management in the NBA, and the hiring practices in the most competitive fields. Their alma maters were small, but their impact on the game, and the implications of their success, loom large.

About the Author

Ben Kaplan is an analytics executive in the sports and entertainment space. He is a former basketball player at Amherst College and has covered Division III basketball for D3Hoops.com.

Danny Parkins is the host of the Parkins & Spiegel Show, the afternoon drive program on Chicago’s 670 The Score, home of the Bulls and Cubs. Barrett Sports Media recently named Parkins’ show one of the top ten major market afternoon programs in the nation.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781637274330
ISBN-10: 1637274335
Publisher: Triumph Books
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Language: English