Learning, on and off the court

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Five Questions With . . . Otago Basketball USA intern Jacob Dudley, who will attend this week’s basketball camp, in Alexandra.

Q Can you tell us a bit about your role with Basketball Otago?

I have been very fortunate on this front with how trustworthy and open the staff, especially Justin Ludlow, has been with me in making sure I am exposed to all different aspects of the game.

I have had the unique opportunity to experience and watch what makes basketball in Otago tick.

For the Gold Rush (the WBC team) I do development work, both on and off the court.

On-the-court activities include coaching the scout team, morning shooting sessions, and developmental coaching during practice.

On game day I do the FIBA Live Stats for the livestream.

Off the court I do film breakdown on opposing teams as well as statistical breakdowns to use in weekly scouting reports.

I also make the programmes for the games, so I am familiar with photoshop and Google slides.

On the developmental side, I spend time with our co-ordinator Natalie Visiger going to local schools in the area working with both girls and boys years 3 and up.

At these sessions we spend time trying to be inclusive, yet also competitive with our drills and skill competitions.

Q What are some of your basketball achievements?

All of my achievements as a player and within the world of basketball so far I credit to my high school coaches, especially my head coach David Cohen, and all the great team-mates and co-workers I have had thus far.

I am a two-time Dual County League small champion and Central Mass champion as well as a State finalist.

On an individual level, they include being named co-captain and Dual County League All-Star.

Thus far, off the court my greatest achievement was getting the manager job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Q What is it about basketball that you enjoy so much?

The reason I work in basketball is because of everything that it has taught me, all the lessons of perseverance, practice and team building that I have learned.

Some of the greatest relationships I have in my life have come from the sport and I want others who play it to get just as much out of it as I do.

I also love the analytical component of the game and using statistics to inform decision making.

Q How has basketball grown over the years?

The two largest developments in the game the last two years have been the rise of the three-point shot, and the use of social media off the court by the best players.

It has truly made the game global and allowed for smaller players with determination and willingness to practise able to compete.

Q What would you say to anyone wanting to give it a go?

Basketball is definitely worth a shot. Not only does it provide the great atmosphere of being in a team environment and learning how to collaborate with others, it also teaches lessons such as anyone with the willingness to work hard can be successful.

On top of all that, it is a lot of fun to play.

The relationships that I have built through the sport continue to influence me to this day in a positive way and I encourage anyone who has any sort of interest to take a chance and try it.