Question and Answer with Derrick King

–Derrick King, Head Boys Basketball Coach, Ottawa Hills HS, MI

What made you decide to coach, and how did you get started?
It was kind of on purpose but by accident. As a college basketball player, I was jogging a lake at 5:30 am. I didn’t know my way around the lake so I followed a ladies’ light on her vest to because it was dark. She asked me to run with her, so I said sure. We had a conversation about coaching track, I told her I ran in HS and College but I was currently playing basketball in College. She told me to come to see her in the fall and she needed a sprint coach. I waited until my season was over then I went and found her. She put me in as a coach for track then hired me in the following winter to coach basketball because I stopped playing college ball at the end of my junior season because I had my third child.

What different schools have you coached for?
I coached for: East Grand Rapids High School Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School; Head Varsity Coach at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School. I am going on my 3rd year coaching at Ottawa Hills High School.

What championships/accomplishments/awards have you/your teams won?
East Grand Rapids – 2 Conference Championships, 2 district championships, 1 regional championship, 1 quarterfinal appearance

Ottawa Hills High – District Final appearance this past year but COVID hit

How would you describe your coaching style? How would your players describe you?
My Coaching style is coaching defensive-minded intimidating and very competitive approach, that disrupts opponents with full-court pressing combinations, half-court traps, and very aggressive but disciplined man to man defense. This allows my team to create turnovers that lead easy or minimally contested fast break points.

What experiences did you take from AAU: From running the MBA AAU program and also from coaching with the Indy Heat organization?
– Teaching athletes to stay committed to the process when being recruited – Understand that athletes will leave the program – Communication is key with parents, coaches, players, etc.

How have you developed into a better coach from when you were just starting out?
I most definitely have been developed into a better coach. My attitude towards players and understanding them has improved and building relationships.

What advice would you give to younger coaches?
The advice I would give to younger coaches is to be patient and build relationships with all of your athletes. Relationships both on and off the floor are very crucial to the success of your program.

We as coaches are always trying to get our players to improve at their craft: what are 1 or 2 things you’re hoping to improve during this off season?
My ability to adjust quickly to my opponents. My ability to adapt my offense to the kind of team I have and flexibility to change sooner based on their skill set and size. Lastly, just be better about teaching the why’s behind we are running an offense or specific defense.

Derrick M. King Sr.
Coach, Mentor, Educator, and Leader
derrickking39@gmail.com
“My Passion for Success is Built upon Preparation”

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