Monday, April 10, 2017

Meet Dallas Jensen

Dallas Jensen. This one's a basketball coach but it could very well be the name of an Old West gunslinger, a grizzled explorer navigating the deepest reaches of the Amazon or one of the names Hollywood considered before Indiana Jones was selected.

This one also played hoops at Gilroy High, San Jose City College and BYU-Hawaii before entering the coaching ranks under Percy Carr and then heading to Lone Peak High, a basketball powerhouse in Utah.

Now Jensen's back as the head coach of the Gavilan College men's basketball program.

"I grew up around the game of basketball," Jensen explained. "My Dad is a coach and he had me in the gym with him and I realized how much I loved the game of basketball. We had some great talks during those times and eventually I got the itch to coach and give back."

Paying it forward

When the opportunity to return came up "my family and I mulled it over. We held a family council about it. I missed the recruiting aspect and also working with players from different walks of life so we decided to come home to family and friends."

"I want to give back to kids. I love being a mentor and an advocate besides being a coach."

While competing in the Coast Conference-South has been a struggle for Gavilan, Jensen sees an opening. "Kids will have an ample opportunity to get a degree, play basketball and move on if things fall into place. We will get the right kids, with talent and character, and make it about family."

He added, "Players make the coaches and we'll play fast, aggressive and tough, with a lot of pressure. I want the guys to be assertive and play with a ton of confidence. It will be a brand of basketball that prepares players for the next level."

What he'll be saying to prospects

First off comes establishing a relationship with players and their families. "You have to explain why they should come to Gilroy. We'll talk about the area, how it's nestled in the foothills and how beautiful the Gavilan campus is. We're isolated enough so that they can focus on adcademics and basketball but still close to San Jose and the beach. We know we'll be competing with other teams that have been better but if the players do the things we ask, put in the time as a person, student and player, we'll open up as many windows of opportunity as possible."

Jensen is confident. "I'm 100% sure we can be competitive. We'll put out a product that can compete in conference in the first year."

Not only will this change obviously benefit Gavilan but the other members of the conference too as games against the Rams will be viewed as a plus when playoff spots are determined at the end of the season.

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