695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Coach Greg Hinton of the Lady Panthers is arguably the most successful coach in the area in recent history. In the past five years he has lead his team to four state AAU titles and one second place finish. He is currently the coach of the Lady Panthers 12U team which is just finishing up a successful summer. Coach Hinton took a few minutes to answer some questions for 695Hoops.com.
695: Tell me about your coaching career...
Coach: I first got started coaching my brother’s football team when I was still a teenager. I coached various sports ever since. Both youth and adult teams. But as far as in the Baltimore area, I have had the opportunity to coach boys and girls AAU basketball for some wonderful programs such as: Chick Webb, Team Mossilini, Sam Cassell All-Stars, Baltimore’s Charm , and the Baltimore Lady Panthers.
695: Did you play ball growing up?
Coach: Yeah, mostly football in high school and college. I was dismissed after three weeks in college because of a bad attitude. That experience helped me grow as a person.
695: Who has had the biggest influence on your coaching style and philosophy?
Coach: I’ve been really blessed to have been in the company of a lot of good coaches. I try and take a little bit from each and every one of them. My High School football coach may have had the biggest impact on me. He was very tough and demanded nothing but the best out of me. I really hated him then, but I appreciated that discipline and structure that he instilled in me once I got older.
695: What do you do to stay sharp and improve as a coach?
Coach: I attend coaching clinics when I can, as well as attend other AAU teams, high school and college practices. I also spend time at Loyola College and pick the brain of the staff there.
695: Tell me about the Lady Panthers organization...
Coach: The Baltimore Lady Panthers is an organization that was formed with goal of giving student-athletes the opportunity to experience high levels of competitive basketball with a team without having to leave the Baltimore area. The major goal of the program is player development athletically, academically, and socially. It is our goal that each player that comes into the program leave as better player, as well as a well- rounded person, and hopefully a college scholarship player at any level. We currently have three teams and will be expanding to at least 5-6 teams this year.
695. Your team won states and then finished 13th in the country. Tell me about the team...
Coach: Well, this is the third year in a row that my team has won AAU states. The first two years we won as Baltimore’s Charm. Our team consists of 13 well rounded young ladies with a combined 3.85 GPA. Our team functions as a family on and off the court. The girls really take care of each other. They work really hard in practice, they are committed and they are very unselfish players. I feel that their cohesiveness plays a big part in our success. Yes, we did rank 13th in Division I, which I felt was a huge accomplishment for the team considering two years ago only 3 of them knew what to do with a basketball (laughing).
695: How do you select which tournaments your team will play in?
Coach: We try to attend tournaments with the better competition where there will be teams that ranked nationally or 1st/ 2nd in their district. We like to go to different parts of the region in order to experience different teams and their styles. Like this year, we were able to play in North Carolina, Virginia, North Jersey, Tennessee, and Philly just to name a few.
695: What is your biggest pet peeve as a coach?
Coach: I’m not sure if this is a pet peeve or not, but I can’t stand players not working hard in practice. I just feel like when they are not hustling then the player is not just cheating themselves but their teammates as well.
695: What do you do besides coach?
Coach: Is there anything else? Coaching is a big part of my day to day schedule. However, when I do have free time, I just sit back and relax and watch movies. I’m a huge movie fanatic.
695: How do you feel about MD AAU in general?
Coach: I think that there are a lot of coaches working hard and giving their time so that these players can grow in their sport. It’s a little annoying when we travel and other coaches in other districts give very little respect to teams from Maryland.
I would like to see us become a more respected district in terms of coaches collaborating to keep our best athletes within our district. There are more than enough qualified coaches in this area to provide the enhanced skills that the student-athletes need to be successful. Also, it saves parents gas money.
695: How do you deal with the criticism that comes with coaching?
Coach: I don’t let it bother me. I mean some of the greatest professional coaches get criticized all the time. So I’m not naïve to believe that I’m above being critiqued. Years ago I was at a coaching clinic, and a coach said to me, “you’re only as good as your last game. If you win, you’re the best coach around. Praises all over the place. But if you loose, you become the worst coach on the floor”. I think that statement helps me keep everything in perspective.
695: Thanks for your time.
Coach: Thank you.
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