By Vin Parise
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It was an honor this past Friday to be a part of “In Brayden’s Eyes” – an elite coaching clinic to benefit the Brayden Carr Foundation.  Over 500 coaches attended and over $80,000 dollars was raised.  The speakers were Bob Hurley, Bill Self, John Calipari, Jeff Van Gundy, Larry Brown and Mike Rice.  Congratulations to Jim & Natalie Carr from Rutgers on putting together a great event in memory of a very special young boy.

Here are some good tidbits from the speakers:

On what it meant to participate in the inaugural event:

Bob Hurley:
“I’m honored that the Carr family asked me to be a part of this.  The Hurley family feels strongly about this foundation and helping out.  This is a great day for this cause and the metropolitan basketball community.”

Bill Self:
“Jimmy Carr is one of the most liked guys in our profession and is a good man.  I’m very proud to be part of this event which is going to do great things for families dealt a tough hand in life.”

Jeff Van Gundy:
“If you’re a parent, you understand the loss of a child is the most horrific thing a family can go through.  But to see Jim and Natalie channel their grief into something so positive, you just want to be a part of it and do whatever you can do.”

Larry Brown:
“As much as I love doing clinics and sharing, this was much different.  For what Jim and his wife have gone through, I was excited to be a part of this.  We have close mutual friends and I knew about Brayden, so when I was approached to help out I didn’t hesitate.”

Is there enough sharing in the coaching fraternity or is the profession too secretive about basketball knowledge?

Bob Hurley: “Generally speaking I think we share as coaches, some more than others I guess.  Today, for example,  I’m doing drills and I’ve stolen all of these drills from other people.  There are some coaches however that act like they’ve invented the sport and that’s sad.”

Bill Self:
“I think the coaching profession is more secretive than it should be.  I don’t mind if everyone knows what we do at Kansas.  I’m confident that we’ll do it better than they defend it.  If we can’t do that, we don’t deserve to win.  At the end of the day, we’ve all learned from somebody.  Nobody will ever truly figure this game out.”

Jeff Van Gundy:
“Our profession gets a knock on keeping things too close to the vest but I think coaches in general are givers back to the coaching community.”

Larry Brown:
“I don’t think we share enough in our game at all.  I came here to learn.  I’ve been in this game forever and I’ll learn something today from Calipari, Van Gundy or Rice, I guarantee you.  If you don’t share in this business, you’re foolish.  We have to help kids and make our game better.”

The NBA Lockout –

Van Gundy:
“I think they have to worry about who truly cares.  You don’t want to overestimate who you are and what your place is in society.  They’ll come to an agreement but they have to be conscious about not turning off the people who pay the bills and that’s the fans and sponsors.”

“I was involved in the 1999 lockout and I don’t think that helped anybody.  We have the best situation ever in terms of young players with character.  We just finished the best NBA FInals in a long time and it is about the players but also the fans and the good of the game.  Some of the best athletes in the world are playing our sport.  I’m confident they’ll do what’s right in the end.”

Kyle Anderson’s decision of UCLA over Seton Hall –

“Kyle worked out in Los Angeles three or four times this past year and he saw that a lot of pros work out there so geographically it wasn’t a big issue for him.  Seton Hall did a great job with Kyle but when it came down to it, Kyle’s feelings for elite west coast basketball and Howland’s recent success with pros was the deciding factor I think.”

On Rutgers Basketball & Mike Rice –

Bob Hurley: “Mike Rice is going to get local kids and he’s going to get kids to play hard, share the ball and defend.  For the first time in a long time I’m hearing that there’s a college team out there that actually has practices as tough as ours at St. Anthony – and that’s what I’m hearing about Rutgers Basketball right now.”

Bill Self:
“Mike Rice has energy and passion for sure.  Rutgers in the Big East is tough because they have monsters in his league.  What Mike has to do is keep finding players that can compete night in and night out and anything can happen.  When you’re working hard and you get lucky on a few recruits, great things can happen.  I believe you can win anywhere.  Look at the Butler situation.”

Van Gundy: ” Rutgers is a great situation.  They’ve always had good coaches here and the RAC has always been a great home court advantage.  The thing that has always been missing here is talent.  If you’re going to go to the NCAA tourney from the Big East, you need one or two guys that are potential pros.  I think Mike has done a great job getting the recruiting buzz back.”

Larry Brown:
“Mike is great.  I’ve known about him and his Dad for a few years now and I really liked his team at Robert Morris.  There’s no reason why you can’t get good players here at Rutgers.  This guy can coach and this a great school.”