Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pooh Jeter Talks Teaching, BCA and Extra


Pooh Jeter is many issues: a Los Angeles native, a mid-major product and an abroad hoop legend, to call just a few. And now you possibly can add NBA participant growth coach and G League assistant GM to the checklist. However there’s one identifier that’s the muse of Pooh’s complete existence. Above every thing else, Pooh is a person of religion.

He’s made it abundantly clear that he finds his life’s objective in serving to serve others and offering mild in occasions of darkness. After a spectacular profession on the College of Portland, the undersized level guard went undrafted within the 2006 NBA Draft. However his religion didn’t enable that to discourage him from his objective of turning into an expert basketball participant.

He’d find yourself having a 17-year professional profession that spanned a handful of nations and a quick stint within the NBA with the Sacramento Kings in 2010-11. Final 12 months, he introduced his retirement as a participant after spending his final two seasons as a participant/mentor with the NBA G League Ignite. 

He adopted up his retirement with information that he’d be becoming a member of the Portland Path Blazers as a participant growth coach and their G League affiliate, the Rip Metropolis Remix, as an assistant GM.

Pooh pulled as much as the SLAM workplace and chopped it up about every thing: his new twin position with the Path Blazers, his transition from participant to teach, founding the Black Coaches Affiliation, what group means to him and extra.

This interview has been barely edited for readability and conciseness.

SLAM: I recognize you for being right here, first issues first. We’ll get into just a few issues, however I wish to begin together with your newest accomplishment, turning into a coach within the League. How’d that come about?

Pooh Jeter: First, reward God that we’re in a position to have this dialog and communicate on the SLAM platform. That is large. You understand, me being on this new position–I wasn’t anticipating it. I used to be actually anticipating to nonetheless be taking part in with Ignite, till I bought this chance from Mike Schmitz, the assistant GM [for the Portland Trail Blazers] and a longtime good friend of mine. He had an concept of this twin position, within the entrance workplace and training. As soon as Chauncey Billups—who I’ve been figuring out since ’05—discovered, he was like, I would like him too! So it simply made sense to have this position of being a participant growth coach [for the Trail Blazers], and likewise being assistant GM of our NBA G League [Rip City] Remix workforce.

SLAM: So, what’s Coach Pooh like?

PJ: Coach Pooh is—I’m nonetheless a hooper. However I’m in a position to share my experiences. One factor I find out about participant growth is folks don’t take into consideration the growth half. That’s not simply basketball. Me being on this position, I’m nonetheless like a teammate since I only in the near past made this transition. For me to have the ability to faucet in so that you can convey out your greatest don’t actually gotta do with basketball; we’re human beings as properly. I feel the belief that gamers have with me, they’re in a position to actually let me know what’s happening with them. As a result of, the basketball stuff is—I’ll be capable to assist with that, for positive.

SLAM: How’s that transition from participant to teach/entrance workplace government been for you since saying your retirement final 12 months?

PJ: The transition has been superb, man. The final two years I performed with G League Ignite actually helped me make my transition even higher. I nonetheless get down and observe, which is cool. I’m one of many solely folks within the League with this position. It’s a tremendous steadiness; I’m in a position to actually speak to either side. I’ve skilled a lot and it’s not meant for me to carry it, it’s for me to share. My complete mission is refreshing others; that’s what I’m about.

SLAM: In one other interview, you talked about how vital it’s so that you can share data together with your group first. Are you able to communicate to this a bit extra? What does group imply to you?

PJ: Neighborhood is every thing to me, wherever I’m at. We gotta repair inside if we wish to do issues on the surface. When you concentrate on that half, every thing is gonna deal with itself. That comes with data, that comes with love. Coming from the interior metropolis, you actually must faucet into that to essentially change narratives. That’s the entire level of me being a messenger and servant. I gotta serve. As soon as I’m in a position to do this, [the younger generation] is gonna do the identical. It begins with group.

SLAM: I wish to contact on the Black Coaches Affiliation (BCA). How did that come about and what are you making an attempt to do with it?

PJ: BCA actually began with coaches John Thompson, Nolan Richardson, George Raveling and John Chaney across the late ’80s. Then it simply went away. I had a dialog with Coach Jason Hart—he’s someone I actually look as much as for lots of various causes. He was venting to me, as a result of at the moment (and now) the Pac-12 didn’t have a Black head coach. That’s bizarre for a Energy 5 convention—like, why?! Properly, I’m actually into emblems and as soon as I noticed Black Coaches Affiliation/BCA was out there, I bought on it. So then, with the relationships that I do have, right here comes [a long list of Black coaches] that grew to become members of the affiliation. I used to be nonetheless a participant on the time, and there was a lot happening on this planet. I simply wished to ensure these coaches have been alright psychological health-wise. Everyone began making their calls and it bought massive! We in all probability have 2,500 Black coaches in our database.

Now that I’m on the sidelines, I’m different professional gamers who wish to get into teaching. Once more, it’s about who we’re getting our data from. I’m simply tryna do one thing to ensure the group—my group—is ready for the chance. Black Coaches Affiliation is my child. It’s an actual ardour and precedence of mine.

SLAM: What’s left for Pooh to do within the recreation of basketball?

PJ: I’m gonna go to this scripture within the Bible: “despite the fact that I’ve plans in my coronary heart, God directs my steps.” I’ve to proceed to hope and simply be aligned with the steps we’re on and hopefully, these steps are main someplace. You understand, I wasn’t anticipating to be a coach and within the entrance workplace; that wasn’t my plan. I simply pray that my steps are being directed in the proper method, with God. One of many necessities is to stroll humbly; I’m simply making an attempt to stroll humbly and ensure God’s will is completed.


Right here’s the official Hoops, Rap and Every part Black playlist. It’s up to date frequently. Add the playlist to your library to remain within the know, and you’ll want to comply with SLAM on Spotify.

Images by Marcus Stevens.



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