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Exclusive Interview with Chris Sparks

Chris Sparks

New Zealand National Basketball League Coach of the Year Finalist

Valparaiso University Coach (Conference Champions)

Utah Valley University (Conference Champions)

Athletes in Action International Clinics (Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia)

Valparaiso University Hall of Fame, 150 most influential people in history

USA Basketball Jr National Team Training Camp Coach

“What has been the secret to your success?”

Vasiliy, I have learned more than anything that basketball and more specifically, coaching basketball is all about relationships. It is paramount that you develop and grow relationships with your players, general manager, owner and most importantly the community that your club is in.

When you have good relationships and communication, you will grow and be successful. If you have one person who has goals and desires that are contrary to the common good of the club, that person must be removed, you will not be successful.

I have developed systems and training methods to develop communication and relationship development throughout my team with my players and coaching staff. This has proven to be successful as it allows you to grow, adjust and adapt to your team as the season progresses. This in turn directly affects your team to grow and become better.

I have been fortunate to have tremendous mentors in my coaching career both internationally and domestically. Having learned from such tremendous coaches like Tab Baldwin (former NZ National Team Coach) and Homer Drew (Hall of Fame NCAA coach). I feel to become the best, you need to learn from the best and I have had the fortunate opportunity to do that.

“You have been involved in international basketball for years. What has your experience included and what have you learned?”

I have been fortunate to have been exposed to international basketball as a college player when the university that I played for brought many foreign players to our team. From them I learned very quickly that the level of basketball overseas is very good and there was much that I could learn as a player from them.

“What are your future goals?”

I want to continue to be part of clubs that have a clear vision and organization within the community. There is nothing more gratifying to set up excellent development systems and programs at the youth level and see them yield fruit at the top professional and national levels. I love coaching professionally internationally and look forward to the future!

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