Prep Athletics Podcast
This is one of the most important topics to clarify in the prep school basketball world. Brick and mortar prep schools are NOT the same as basketball academies. In this episode I discuss the differences between the two options, share my personal experience and horror stories of working with some of these academies, and share what to questions to ask if looking at this option.
41. Coaching NBA Lottery Picks + Starting the And1 Shoe Brand feat. Westtown School Coach Seth Berger
In this episode we welcome Westtown School Head Coach Seth Berger. Seth has been the coach there for 12 years and built it into a national powerhouse. He has coached NBA players such as Cam Reddish and Mo Bamba. He currently has the number one player in the class of 2022 and Duke signee Dereck Lively. In this episode we discuss why he got into coaching, how he turned Westtown into a national powerhouse, the mindset and skills that his eventual NBA players possess, and placement during covid. Seth also founded the shoe and apparel company And1. We talk about his meeting with Larry Johnson, the And1 Mixtape Tour, and more.
40. Creating a National Powerhouse, Starting Findlay Prep + Coaching Rick Pitino’s son feat. Danny Haney
On this episode we welcome Coach Danny Haney to the podcast. Danny is PREP Athletics Founder Cory Heitz’s high school coach. Danny coached at Lexington Catholic High School and during his time won a state title and got up to #3 in the USA Today National High School Rankings. He beat Oak Hill and Whitney Young that year and talks about how he built the program into a national powerhouse. Danny also talks about coaching Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino’s sons, turning down a 2-time NBA All Star from joining his team, the beauty of Kentucky high school basketball, and helping to create the first basketball academy in the US: Findlay Prep. Did you know Findlay Prep never sent a player from its roster to a non D1 school in its existence? This was a very informative podcast with lots of great stories.
On this PREP Athletics Podcast we welcome former Nike executive and prep school parent to the podcast. Archie McEachern completed a post grad year himself at Maine Central Institute before playing and becoming a 2 year captain at Ithaca College. He then worked his way up the corporate ladder at Nike to at one point being in charge of Global Basketball. Archie was in charge of footwear for Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant and more. He also shares his insight on helping his own son choose the right prep school.
On this week’s episode I had the pleasure to interview former NBA strength and conditioning coach, Blair O’Donovan. Blair has worked in the NHL, NFL, NBA, as well as for the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonalds All American Game. Blair and I coached together at Gonzaga College High School in Washington DC under Gatorade National Coach of the Year, Steve Turner. In this podcast, Blair talks about being Kevin Durant’s strength coach in high school, the other future NBA players on the Montrose Christian team, characteristics of an NBA player, the importance of nutrition/sleep, and the exercises he recommends to young athletes.
On this episode we welcome Karl Barkley of D3Direct. Karl played at Swarthmore College and now helps educate athletes on everything D3. In this episode we discuss the talent at the D3 level, going pro, the benefits, and talk all about financial aid. This was a very informative episode which is a must listen to those who don’t know much about the D3 option.
36. Walking On D1, Winning a Prep School Championship, Coaching NBA Players + More feat. IMG’s Alex Popp
On this episode we welcome Coach Alex Popp of IMG Academy to the podcast. Alex has played D1 and D2, coached at the D1, D3, G-League, Nike EYBL and prep school level and is now working at IMG Academy to make their basketball program one of the best in the world. In this episode we talk about Alex completing a post grad year at Northfield Mount Hermon, being a walk on at a Big Ten school, finding the right fit for college, coaching Top 100/future NBA players, what guards need to do to succeed, the NIL situation, and much more. Alex came to IMG Academy from NEPSAC AAA prep school Vermont Academy and shares the his thoughts after being away from the New England game for a year. This is a great episode with a lot of knowledge shared.
In this mini episode, PREP Athletics Founder, Cory Heitz explains how the PREP Athletics process of finding a right fitting prep school works.
34. National Championship Winning Prep School Coach Talks Program Building + 7 Footers feat Tom Espinoza
Tom Espinoza is the head prep boys basketball coach at Putnam Science Academy. Tom won National Prep School Championships in 2018 and 2020. He has coached dozens of D1 players to include NBA player Hamadou Diallo. In this conversation we talk about starting a prep school program from scratch, what its like to coach a Top 100 player, his second team, the importance of the open gym recruiting period, coaching multiple 7 footers and more.
33. Top Level New England Basketball Prep School Located in the Woods of Maine feat Coach Dan Haynes
On this episode we interview Lee Academy’s Head Prep Basketball Coach Dan Haynes. Dan was a multisport athlete in high school and college before getting into coaching. He has been at Lee since 2016 and shares his insights on such topics as the remoteness of Lee Academy, playing in the NEPSAC AAA, his largely international roster, and more. Dan explains his pitch to players on why it’s a good thing to go to a prep school in Northern Maine, plus much more. Enjoy the interview!