Sunday, June 24, 2012

Damany Hendrix headed to Eugene

In April 2010, Damany Hendrix stated in a NorCalPreps article that his ultimate goal was to land a college coaching position, "preferably in D-1 but anything that will get my foot in the door."

Now he will be donning the gold and green, a member of the Knights of Nike.

Hendrix is headed to the University of Oregon as a graduate assistant on the staff of Coach Dana Altman.

"I can't wait, I'm definitely excited," Hendrix said. "Dana Altman (the Oregon head coach) is a good guy, real humble and down to earth."

So how did this come about?

"I met one of the Oregon assistants [during one of the summer tournaments] in Las Vegas and we got to talking." Hendrix explained.

The relationship connection took off from there.

But it wasn't a case of Hendrix going from ground zero to D-1 -- he paid the requisite dues and laid the foundation necessary to earn such a move.

After playing at Lamar University and earning his degree (plus all-conference honors during his 2001-2003 tenure (based on a 16.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game averages), he coached at Vallejo High and taught middle and high schoolers along with coaching a Slam and Jam organization basketball team. He also founded the Bridge Builders Basketball School and went to work as assistant coach at California Maritime Academy, working under Brian Rooney -- "a friend and mentor and a great young coach." Next came a position as Academic Program Coordinator for two schools in San Francisco.

All with a focus on building his skills set vis-a-vis college coaching.

"As a graduate assistant, I'll be a link between the players and the coaches."

Plus, he's still young enough to lace 'em up and take to the court when needed.

Hendrix offered a method of operation on landing a college position: "Be everywhere," he said with a laugh. "Start networking. Build relationships with lots of coaches because you have to know somebody in order to get a job. Go to the coaches conventions, the Final Fours, the Villa 6 (which is an event to aid assistant coaches in moving up), the big events in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and the conference tournaments. Ask about available jobs. It's a grind but something you have to do."

He certainly gained plenty of experience and education through observation and participation playing under four different college coaches. Some may lament the latter situation -- Hendrix gained from it.

"I've witnessed a lot of styles and techniques and I'm still a student of the game," he offered.

Now with a new mentor.

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