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EXCLUSIVE Q&A Session with Brian Merritt
By: Jeff Meadows
Today's Q&A Interview segment features a young vivacious, hard working player that has worked his way up the ranks through a grip of hard work and major dedication and now, Brian Merrit. Here it is, Hoopsreport's EXCLUSIVE Q&A Interview with Brian Merritt.
JM/Q: What's up B? How's life treatin you these days?
BM/A: Houston's great, really like it here. I got the best boss in the world, so I got no complaints.
JM/Q: Brian I've been knowing your for 6 years and as long as I've known you, you have been on the grind and not much has changed in that department but you have definitely moved up sort of speak, in the Grassroots game. My question to you is "How has the journey been thus far"?
BM/A: Its been fun, from my time at Louisville, Hampton and Corpus Christi to Houston it has been a eye opening experience and a great experience for me.
JM/Q: For those who are not aware of what is that you do can you let the public know what it is that you do?
BM/A: I help John Lucas in every aspect of John Lucas Enterprises. We generally train NBA players throughout the off season and in some cases during the season. We do a hand full of elite invite only grassroots events for the nations best from 5th grade-12th grade. Coach Lucas has an after care program for athletes with alcohol and drug problems to help them get their lives back on track, I occasionally assist him with that to a degree. On a day to day basis we are in the gym 2-3 times a day working with top tier players from 10 yrs old all the way to NBA players.
JM/Q: That seems to be a very good title you hold which I'm sure comes with lot's of responsibilities considering the fact that you pretty much have to cover the entire US. For those that are curious, what is a "Brian Merrit day like"?
BM/A: 7am phone calls start coming in about players. 8am meet coach Lucas at hotel for breakfast to go over plans for the day/week, 9am players begin Yoga at the gym 3 days a week, then we start skill work for 45minutes to an hour, then we begin live work for another hour. 12pm lunch with the players after workouts, 1pm weight training, 3pm workout #2 which we get more shots up and more live work. In the evening I will make phone calls regarding pre draft guys or recruiting for camps.
JM/Q: I myself am a HUGE advocate of middle school camps and tournaments but like in anything, there some skeptics out there that say middle school is too young to put lots of emphasis on young players participating in HIGH PROFILE CAMPS or TOURNAMENTS, what's your response to that?
BM/A: They have professional tennis players as young as 12 and 13. I don't think that basketball needs to have professional players at that age but I do feel that if a kid has a passion and dream to become a professional basketball player why shouldn't he be able to take the game seriously and compete against others who have the same aspirations?
JM/Q: Brian, for the public, what have you done in the past or what type of experience do you have in the basketball field?
BM/A: I was a walk on at Towson University in Baltimore, I ran Elite Scouting out of Atlanta while I finished up school. When I graduated I went on to the University of Louisville for 3 years with Rick Pitino as a G.A. and later as Director of Basketball Operations., from there I went on to coach as an assistant at Hampton and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. During that time I was involved with the start of the Adidas Jr Phenom and Jr All American camps. I have been watching the development of middle schoolers for over 12 yrs now and seen some good and some bad.
JM/Q: We've pretty much covered all basis except for this question which I had to save for last, "What's your take on Grassroots basketball these days?"
Right now there is a lot of bad basketball out there. There is too much emphasis on games and tournaments and less player development than ever before. What we are trying to do is improve the coaching around the country through coaches clinics, inviting coaches to the "Lab" to learn. There is a major lack of fundamentals with regards to defense and teams just playing zone and kids never learning basic fundamental one on one defensive principals. Hopefully we don't get too far behind as a country that we start losing regularly in the world games and Olympics.
JM/Q: Brian it was great connecting with you my friend and we appreciate you taking the time out of your extremely busy day to share your experience and basketball knowledge with us especially considering the fact that you've just finished one of the biggest middle school camps of the year.
BM/A: Ok my friend take care and congrats on your continued success.
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