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The Basketball Podcast

Aug 15, 2018

1-on-1 with Chris Oliver and Alex Sarama

Guest: Alex Sarama, NBA Basketball Operations

In this basketball coaching conversation, Alex Sarama of NBA Europe asks questions, and discusses, a games approach to coaching concepts with the creative mind behind Basketball Immersion, Chris Oliver. Chris and Alex discuss the value of 1-on-0 drills and adding a defender can change skill development.

Alex Sarama has been working for the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 2016. In his current role as Associate Manager, Basketball Operations, Alex manages NBA initiatives across Europe, Middle East & Africa. Alex’s role involves working with stakeholders, governments and Federations to grow the game of basketball across three continents. He travels frequently throughout these regions to deliver NBA clinics for coaches and players of all levels, in addition to supporting marquee NBA events such as Basketball without Borders, NBA Global Camp and NBA Global Games.


0:00 - Introduction

1:21 - Role in Helping the Growth of Basketball Overseas

4:00 - Club Youth Program

4:40 - Basketball Techniques Context

6:00 - Drills driven by a Coach

7:30 - Progression in Practice

9:14 - “If you don't have a defender, You don't have a Decision”

9:30 - Game-Like Drill

10:43 - Skills over Decision Making?

11:30 - Developing Perceived Confidence, Coaches Comfort and Tradition

13:00 - Evaluating the GAME and Tradition

16:00 - “Without Technical Ability, It is Harder”

16:30 - Thinking Solutions

17:10 - Handling Signals and the Decision of Player

20:00 - Decision Cues

21:00 - Playing 1-on-1 at the rim

22:00 - Decisions against Live Defenders

23:00 - Off the Ball Stuffs

23:41 - Player Workouts: 1-and-0

24:10 - Practical Value

25:00 - Layups at the Top of your Head Misconception

26:00 - Gap in a Clean Drill

27:00 - Knowing the Advantage in the Drill

28:00 - Drills and the Purpose

28:45 - Isolated Shooting Practice plus Decision Making

29:40 - Player Learning and Optimal Challenges

31:00 - Finding the Best Solution

32:30 - Discussion about the 1-on-1 Drills

34:00 - Working Closeout

35:00 - Dribble and Direction Limits

36:39 - Block and the Danger

38:37 - Starting Specific Scenarios

39:39 - Emphasizing Dribble Drive

41:00 - “Decisions are also Skills”

42:37 - 2-on-1 Situations

44:00 - Emphasis on Defense and Offense

46:00 - “Just add a Defender”

48:00 - Playing 5-on-5 to start Practice and Applying Defense

49:00 - Spin Dribble

50:00 - Messy on Purpose

51:00 - Conclusion on Games Approach


Alex Sarama’s Bio




Basketball Immersion